African art > African mask > Dogon Mask
Dogon polychrome monkey mask (N° 18956)
Variant of a lively polychromy for this African mask of the Dogons. The zoomorphic figure rising to the top is a monkey. Square cavities have been made in the face framed with raised borders. The polychrome motifs symbolize the stages of creation among the Bamana of Mali. Cracks and abrasions.
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More than eighty types of Dogon masks are listed, 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 B designates the masks, their costumes, and the Dogon as a whole in the service of the masks. Some evoke animals, in reference to the rich cosmogony and mythology of Dogon African art. The "nyama", vital force of the mask, is activated by different rituals in order to develop the full magical potential of the object.
The mask Ko of the Dogon is part of three types of monkey masks: Dege figures a baboon and the masks Ko and Omono represent monkeys thrushes . The monkeys feed on the fruit of the baobab tree and the millet ears they steal from the fields. This tribal mask was worn with a skirt made of sansevière fibers which hid the dancer. The choreography of this last was accompanied by warnings.
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