Marcel Griaule has listed many types of masks in use among the Dogon, such as the African mask animal of the Dogon associated with the antelope, the walu, animal of the African cosmogony dogon. The presence of horns accentuates the narrow volume of this stylized example. Vestiges of polychromy adorn the matte, grainy surface.
Parallel to Islam, the Dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lébé, relating to fertility, the Wagem, ancestor worship under the authority of the patriarch, the Binou invoking the world of spirits, and the Awa mask society regarding funerals. The "dama" is a ceremony dedicated to restoring the order of things following bereavement.
It was originally to protect themselves from the "nyama" (soul) of the victim that the Dogon carved a mask in the image of an animal.
Guarantor of order, the mask of the Walu charges the spectators 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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