African, Mali, Dogon peoples
Object Place: Mali
Height x width: 15 3/8 x 7 1/16 in. (39 x 18 cm)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
The meaning of Dogon masquerades and masks has been open to much speculation. This example is one 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.
Such masks are among the most famous and sought-after works in African art. Tourists have visited Dogon country and purchased similar masks produced for the market since the 1930s.
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)
Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart