For the dama, or final commemorative ceremony
for an important Dogon elder, masked dancers perform,
creating a brilliantly colored, spectacle of sculpture, costume,
song & dance.
By reenacting the behavior of their mythic
ancestors, the Dogon strive to restore order to their world
after the disruption caused by death.
Gazelle masks, among
the most popular Dogon masks are admired by the Dogon for
their beauty and strength of their performance. The dancer
holds 2 short sticks with which he scratches the ground,
imitating the behavior of gazelles during their mating displays.
This mask, (which was in our own private collection), has particularly long horns, which is how it differs to the Walu antelope mask.
Traditionally Dogon masks are controlled by the Awa society, a group of predominantly male initiates. It conducts the public rites that insure the transition of the dead into the spirit world.
This has been marked down on sale, as the horn on the left has had a native repair
Height: 37" x Width: 9" x Depth: 9"