Delaire Graff Estate, Africa Nova- Dama Mask

Dama Mask


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AFRICA NOVA
Dogon, Mali, mid 20th century
Wood
2.0 kg | 57cm H x 19cm W
Dama was a Dogon funerary ritual, performed to honour the deceased and ensure their soul leaves the village. At the dama of important elders, more than one hundred dancers might perform wearing a great variety of different masks, the most common of which include the abstract kananga and sim masks, or those depicting animals like the antelope, crocodile and monkey. This, however, is a less-common mask topped with a bird. As is typical of Dogon masks, the face is box-like, with narrow carved channels for the eyes.