Requires Photography

Kanaga mask

African, Mali, Dogon peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Mali

Dimensions

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

Accession Number

2009.2605

Medium or Technique

wood, paint, rope, nails,

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Masks

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.

Provenance

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