The Dan tribe live in Ivory Coast, surrounded by forests and jungles. They belong to a larger ethnic group called the Mande.They paint decorations on the walls of their houses, which are round with conical roofs.The women do the domestic work, as is so very common, but they also have another very important role to play in Dan society.
The clan leader makes the rules and enforces them.
Their bridges are built out of lianas and they believe that they are built by the gods. They use no nails and no screws, and they are sacred, just as all that comes from the forest is sacred. That's why they cross the bridges exclusively with bare feet.
These men have been initiated, so they can participate in building the new bridge. But they will do so in a trance state. While the bridge is being rebuilt, no one must go near the forest.
The ceremonial masks represent spirits, and they're taken out of storage when needed. The clan leader has exercised another prerogative and selected one of the group of initiated men to dance with his face covered.
The mask is called Glegben, and it represents justice.
If it's white, that means that the spirit is at ease, but when it's black it must be agitated in some way. An initiated dancer follows the movements of the masks. Some Dan women are working to eliminate a terrible form of mutilation, a delicate topic that affects millions of African women.