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Dogon Gomintogo mask (N° 19988)

The Domintogo masks, with their high ears, were carved in reference to a deer that a farmer had killed. To protect himself from the vengeance of his nyama , or spirit, a wooden mask was made on the advice of the diviner. The masks were regularly repainted on the occasion of new celebrations, in this case using natural ochre pigments and a black pastillage on a cream background. Abrasions.
The Dogon people are renowned in African art for the myths and beliefs relating to their cosmogony.
Their population is estimated at about 300,000 souls living southwest of the Niger loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (northwest of Ouahigouya). They produce more than 80 types of masks, 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. Some represent animals, in reference to the rich mythology of African Dogon art. The "nyama", the vital force of the mask, is activated by various rituals in order to develop the full magical potential of the object.
On the occasion of a Dama, a ritual marking the end of a mourning period, the Dogon carve new masks.  

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OriginCollection P. Malisse
EthnyDogon
Countrymali
Material(s)wood, plant fibre
Height41
Width16
Weight1.45 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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