African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dogon mask
Dogon Satimbe mask (N° 21683)
The crest of this mask consists of a sculpture in the round displaying the attributes of the Dogon woman. However, this is only a part of the mask: for the Dogon, in fact, the whole mask consists not only of the wooden element that is supposed to conceal the dancer's face but also of the fiber costume accompanying it. In the ladle it has would be contained the powerful nyama . Grainy patina, kaolin residue.
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The female figure at the top, Ya Sigine , would embody the mythical ancestor who would have stolen 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.
More than eighty types of African masks are listed among the Dogon, 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. The Awa refers to the masks, their costumes, and the set of Dogons serving the masks. Some evoke animals, in reference to the rich cosmogony and 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.
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|Material(s)||wood, plant fibre, metal|
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