Requires Photography

Kanaga mask

African, Mali, Dogon peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Mali


Overall: 94 x 48.5 x 16 cm (37 x 19 1/8 x 6 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

wood, paint, rope, nails,

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



The meaning of Dogon masquerades and masks has been open to much speculation. Kanaga masks are among more than seventy-eight different Dogon mask types, ranging from animals and humans to abstract configurations that performed during complex funerary rituals organized by Ava (or Awa), a men’s society. They facilitated the transition of the deceased into the realm of ancestorhood. Kanaga masks can be identified by their double-cross superstructure and small vertical appendages.


Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart