Masks of the World

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Sogo Bo rod puppet head from Mali

Puppet heads can fit into a mask collection very nicely. This 36 inch high antelope could easily be the largest “mask” on your living room wall. The Bozo people of Mali enjoy puppet performance done outside in a curtained enclosure where the puppeteers manipulate their characters by working from below with an extended rod. This one is Daje, a roan antelope who’s mouth and the little farmer with a hoe between his horns, can be activated with strings from below. It resembles a mask until you look at the rear. Another nice thing about African puppet heads is they come from actual performers who have used them. They are true artifacts, not something made for export or the tourist industry… at least not yet.  A

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Categories:   Africa

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