Mask

Mask

c. 1940

Wood, paint, and plant fiber

Overall: 138.4 x 63.5 cm (54 1/2 x 25 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1969.119

Location

Description

During the lunar month known as the "Bedu dance moon," paired male and female maskers danced nightly to purify, bless, and heal the community in preparation for the new year. This mask represents a female, surmounted by a serrated disk suggestive of the moon. The maskers dance and lead the assembled audience in a series of playful songs of abuse that diffuse tensions and conflicts in the society. Seen looming over the crowd in the moonlight, the mask's dramatic silhouette and bold geometric patterns and dotted patterns must have created an impressive sight.

See also
Collection: 
African Art
Department: 
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Mask

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