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Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask

Dogon mask (N° 20169)

Among the more than eighty types of masks that have been recorded among the Dogon, this example is unusual: the angular and rectilinear forms of the facial mask are contrasted with a ringed column topped by a head. Very beautiful sacrificial patina locally flaked, velvety.
The Dogon people are renowned in African art for the myths and beliefs relating to their cosmogony.
The 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 sculpt new masks.
Litt. : "Dogon" Huib Blom; "Art of the Dogon" ed. The Metropolitan Museum.  

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OriginCollection P. Malisse
EthnyDogon
Countrymali
Material(s)wood
Height56
Width20
Weight1.30 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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