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Dogon Peul Mask Cloth Beaded Cowrie Shells Yagule Mali Africa

Product #: 114645
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Title Dogon Peul Mask Cloth Beaded Cowrie Shells Yagule Mali Africa
Type of Object cloth mask
Country of Origin Mali
People Dogon
Materials raffia fiber, coton cloth, dyes, cowrie shells
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 59 Inches
head opening is 7 inches wide
Overall Condition fair
Damage/Repair some bleeding color, torn and fraying ropes. some odor

Additional Information: A rare Dogon mask made of cloth and ropes, The mask is known as a Peul, and is danced in costume rituals.  The mask has a distinctive coiffure and two eye holes, and it's decorated with cowrie shells.   

The Dogon are known for their elaborate funeral rituals with extensive use of masks.  To say that they are one of the world's most fascinating cultures is an understatement. The more we learn, the more remarkable they seem. Their art is outstanding, as their masks and other objects reflect a purity of style rarely encountered in modern Africa. The oral tradition of the Dogon tells us that they originated on the west bank of the Niger River about 1000 years ago. They moved west at some point, into parts of what is now Mossi territory in Burkina Faso, but chose to return east due to pressure to assimilate into the Mossi Kingdom. This time, around 1500, they found a place almost unreachable by invaders on horseback--the arid but imposing Bandiagara Cliffs. Here most of the Dogon have remained to this day, scattered over about 150 miles, as one of Africa's most spiritual people. Dogon family dwellings, as well as their shrines and granaries, are constructed in a uniquely haunting way, leaving even the most jaded observer spellbound, in what can only be described as a magic kingdom. The Dogon have also taken the time-honored worship of ancestors to new heights, and their huge pantheon of astounding and colorful masks reflect this. It is possible today for tourists and scholars to arrange masked dances for public view, but these dances are for entertainment only, and only a few of the mask-forms are actually revealed. Ritually meaningful dances are not shared with the public. 

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.