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The Dan Mask features prominently in my YA novel BEREFT. According to the Dan traditions (they live in Liberia), the mask allows the wearer to access the spiritual realm. Rafe’s father, Samuel, owns a mall kiosk that sells African masks. Samuel is very knowledgeable about masks and the spiritual meanings behind them. Rafe looks up to his father, who has had difficulties, legally and financially—and he admires his father for finally achieving some stability. So, in a way, the mask represents his father. The mask, which is gifted to Rafe by his father, also spurs Rafe’s interest in finding out more about African folklore.

Rafe finds out that masks not only hide who your are; but some masks, like the Dan mask, can also reveal things about oneself as well.