Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask
Dogon mask (N° 21352)
Ex-French African art collection.
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The presence of horns on this ancient Dogon mask recalls the walu, an animal linked to Dogon cosmogony. High rectangular depressions have been fitted with cavities for vision.
An ancient polychromy, white spotted with ochre, remains faintly. Velvety surface, cracks of desiccation.
Marcel Griaule counted no less than 78 types of Dogon masks during his fieldwork. This piece, with its stylized features, is characteristic of Dogon creations. The latter, influenced by their predecessors in the Bandiagara region, the Tellem, have retained this verticality in their pieces.
In parallel with Islam, Dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, the Wagem, ancestor worship under the authority of the patriarch, the Binou invoking the world of spirits, and the society of Awa masks concerning funerals. The " dama " is a ceremony dedicated to restoring the order of things following a mourning.
It was originally to protect themselves from the " nyama " (the soul) of the victim that the Dogon sculpted a mask in the image of an animal.
A guarantor of order, the mask of the Walu charges spectators who are too close to the dancers. A pantomime then illustrates the legend of the mythical walu. Many villages have this mask with different meanings.
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|Origin||Coll. française Dr Voltz, ex. Zemanek|
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