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The Dan occupy the wooded savannah region of western Cote d’Ivoire and the east of Liberia; one also finds a few Dan villages in southeast Guinea. Traditionally cultivators of rice and manioc, the Dan also work immense cacao and coffee plantations. They also live off game hunting and fishing. Every Dan village is under the authority of a chief and a council of elders. In order to attain adult status, all the boys and girls of the same age group undergo an initiation that includes specific teaching and circumcision for the former and the latter.Dan artist have carved freestanding figures of important women in wood.
These female figures were carved for wealthy patrons and were often idealized portraits of the wife of the man commissioning the work. They were prestige items, and Dan owners charged fee to visitors who wished to see them. Even though these portraits were carved primarily for the aesthetic pleasure of their owners, they share the styles of masks and spoons, sacred objects housing supernatural beings.