African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dogon Mask

Dogon Kanaga Mask (N° 19732)

Coll. Belgian African art.

African Kanaga mask of the Dogon. In funeral rites, members of the Awa society, dance with the masks on the roof of the dead man's house, to lead his soul (nyama) to its eternal rest and to defend the living. The Kanaga mask is also used to protect hunters from the vengeance of the prey he has killed.
This example is designed according to a recurrent structure: a vertical central board, with "arms" fixed by leather ties and a mask with angular features. The polychrome pigments were refreshed before each performance. This mask, in a very good state of preservation, has a particularity of a matt polychromy of red ochre and blue grey. In preparation for funerals or during the mourning period, numerous copies, almost all identical, appear on the dance floor, after having circulated in the village alleys. Depending on the degree of initiation, this mask will not have the same meaning when it is brought out during the mourning ceremony or during more festive exhibitions. It will be the Komolo bird, or, for the initiate, the Creator indicating with his gesture the sky and the earth. However, its meaning remains obscure. The wearers of this mask execute a circular movement of the head, then bend down towards the ground and straighten up suddenly in order to establish a link between the ground and the sky.  

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OriginCollection belge Scruel
EthnyDogon
Countrymali
Material(s)wood, cuir
Height132
Width65
Weight3.30 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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