Dogon Antelope "Walu" Mask, Mali #638

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  • Dogon Antelope "Walu" Mask, Mali #638
  • The Dogon People currently number around 350,000 people and are settled in the Hombori Mountains area. The small Communities living in scattered Villages are the Descendants of the Tellem People, whose dwellings still exist, high up in the inaccessible cliffs of the Bandiagara Escarpment, which were declared a World Heritage Site in 1989.
  • In Western culture, the Dogon are best known for their art. Their works derive from and relate to the fascinating Mythology of the Dogon Universe. 
  • The Dogon dance a variety of Mask types that belong to the Awa Societies and appear mainly on the occasion of the Dama Funeral Ceremonies honoring the Ancestors.
  • They represent animals, things or people and are made of plant fibers, fabric or wood. They are symbolically derived from the approximately 10 meter long, snake-shaped Mother Mask, which is exhibited for 6 days at special Funeral Services and is particularly honored at the big Sigi Festival, which only takes place every 60 years in honor of the Ancestors.
  • One of the animal masks is the Walu Mask shown here. Depicted is an Antelope admired by the Dogon for its strength and elegance. According to popular belief, the "Walu Performance" illustrates the Mythical Story of the Creation of the Antelope by Amma (the Creator God).
  • Measurements: H 65 cm; 25.5" height
  • Condition:  Visible wear and long term use damages, and nailed addition on the left sidebar (see photos).
  • Further reading: Bilot, Alain / NDiaye, Francine et al. (2001). Masks du Pays Dogon. Paris: Adam Biro.
  • Provenance:  - Swiss Private Collection, Zurich. - Swiss Private Collection, Schwyz.