African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dogon mask
Dogon Satimbe mask (N° 20088)
The African masks satimbe of the Dogon are surmounted by a figure representing Ya Sigine , a woman whose role is to be the counterweight to the all-powerful male in the social and political order within Dogon society.
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This figure, Ya Sigine , is said to embody the mythical ancestor who stole the masks from supernatural beings, taking captive an old Albarga man initiated into the secrets of the masks.
The woman initiated into the Ya Sigine is since then the only woman who can participate in Dogon rituals and benefit from masked funerals. In the ladle at her disposal would be contained the powerful nyama .
Grainy dry patina, erosions. Native restoration.
The Dogon are a people renowned for their cosmogony, esotericism, myths and legends. 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). The villages are often perched on the top of scree on the side of hills, with a unique architecture. The history of the migrations and settlements of the Dogon (about ten main groups, about fifteen different languages), involves several hypotheses. For some historians, the Dogon would have fled from an area located west of their current location, following an aggression.
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