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Dogon Dama Mask Four Guardians Custom Stand Mali Africa

Regular Price: $3,500.00

Special Price: $990.00

Product #: 98671
US Shipping: $49.98
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Title Dogon Dama Mask Four Guardians Custom Stand Mali Africa
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Mali
People Dogon
Materials Wood, braided rope, pigments
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions mask only: 21.5 inches tall x 9 inches wide x 7 inches deep. Stands 28 inches tall on stand
Overall Condition Fair
Damage/Repair worn and scraped surfaces; many cracks visible. mask is held by stand, but does not fasten securely. some chips, dirt and general wear

Additional Information:  Four guardians stand atop this mask around a cylindrical vessel.  The trader who acquired this mask for us indicated it has a special role in the Dama ritual.  It is always danced first, and it's said to offer protection and healing to the masks to be danced later in the ceremony.  Without any doubt this mask is well used and equally well preserved. The surface is very worn and the numerous chips attest to long use.  The mask is fitted with a custom stand and is ready to be displayed immediately.  

Masks among the Dogon were stored or left in rock shelters when it was thought that they had outlived their usefulness or simply were replaced by a new mask. 

Living along the Bandiagara escarpment in Mali the Dogon are well known for their spectacular and dramatic funerary rituals and the various masks that appear during ceremonies. The funerary rituals known as Dama are presented by initiated males, members of the men s secret society known as Awa, who dance the masks that give life and form to Dogon myths. The dancing of the masks celebrate the life of the deceased while at the same time serves to equally guide the new ancestor out of the village so that the spirit of the deceased cannot harm the living. A number of masks appear each with a different sculptural form and identity reflecting Dogon mythology, cosmology to give sculptural shape to Dogon understanding of the world of the living. 

Recommended Rading

Griaule, M. Masques Dogon. 1963 DeMott, B. Dogon Masks.1979. Imperato, PJ.P., Dogon Cliff Dwellers. 1978 Ezra, K. Art of the Dogon. 1988.