Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask
Dogon Dege black monkey mask (N° 20600)
Heavy stylized mask associated with monkey. The projecting forehead, flanked by ears, houses a concave space incised with slits for the eyes. Horizontal elements indicate the jaw. Oiled, velvety surface.
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The Ko mask of the Dogon is one of three types of monkey masks: Dege figures a baboon, and the Ko and Omono masks depict thrush monkeys .
The monkeys feed on the fruit of the baobab tree and the ears of millet that they steal from the fields. This tribal mask was worn with a skirt made of sansevière fibers that concealed the dancer . The dancer's choreography was accompanied by warnings.
More than eighty types of Dogon masks are listed, of which the best known are the Kanaga, Sirigé, Satimbé, Walu. Most of them are used by the circumcised initiates of the Awa society, during funeral ceremonies. The Awa refers to the masks, their costumes, and the set of Dogons serving the masks. Some evoke animals, in reference to the rich cosmogony and mythology of African Dogon art. The "nyama", the life force of the mask, is activated by various rituals to develop the full magical potential of the object.
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