Dan Maternity Figure with Child Cote d'Ivoire
Sculpted female figures with a child on their back among the Dan exemplify the ideas of fertility and continuity of the family. These figures are known as ‚Äòlu me' or wooden person and can be over 60 centimeters in height. They do not portray ancestors but are stylized portraits of real individuals closely representing the hairstyle, body markings, and physiognomy of the wife. These sculptures are superb examples of Dan sculpture and were often the work of well-known artists who worked in secret away from women and children as they carved the lu me figures. In some instances ‚Äòlu me' sculptures are made public to the village during a ceremony in which the man who commissioned the carving is recognized and gaining social prestige. These figures may also be kept in small houses and only publicly shown on special occasions.