Dogon kanaga mask from Mali

This is what the Metropolitan has to say about a similar mask… “One of the most popular types of masks in the Sanga region is the type known as kanaga. Like other Dogon masks, kanaga masks are worn at rituals called dama, whose goal is to transport the souls of deceased family members away from the village and to enhance the prestige of the deceased and his descendants by magnificent masked performances and generous displays of hospitality.”

“In 1935, French anthropologist Marcel Griaule witnessed a dama ritual in which twenty-nine out of a total of seventy-four masks were of the kanaga type. These masks are characterized by a wooden superstructure in the form of a double-barred cross with short vertical elements projecting from the tips of each horizontal bar.”

The Metropolitan’s mask is painted in black and white, which is typical of most kanagas. The one you are looking at has the addition of blue and red.  A+


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