Dogon Dyodyomini Mask, Mali #703


$ 4,250.00 $ 8,500.00
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  • Dogon Dyodyomini Mask, Mali
  • A tall carved wooden Dance mask representing the sacred Hornbill bird with female ancestor image on top and various painted designs, woven grass rope for attachment. Known locally as a (Dyodyomini), Dogon peoples, Mali, Africa. Likely an Early 20th century example.
  • Measurements: The mask has been custom mounted and measures 27.5 inches tall and 21 inches from front to back.
  • Condition: fair, well weathered, the hornbill has been re-attached and professionally restored by previous collector.
  • Provenance: A private New Jersey collection. Exhibited at the SMA Museum of African art in 1996.
  • The Mythical Tale of the origin of this Mask tells that while the Son of a Deceased Villager was dancing alone close to their house, a bird landed there. Yasignine, the only Woman admitted into the Men's Society (Awa), started to entice the bird some grains. An old man who was watching the scene later captured the bird, and carved a mask that resembles the bird and named the mask Dyodyomini. The piece evokes a captured bird in Dogon Mythology.
  • This daringly carved Mask with its long beak represents a Hornbill. Throughout Africa, the Hornbill has a variety of meanings. Some places the Hornbill is considered a Symbol of Fertility with the long beak symbolizing the Male Sexual Organ. In West Africa, the Hornbill also symbolizes a Successful Beginning of a Hunt. 
  • The Female Figure at the top of the Mask may be associated with ‘Satimbe’, the Ancestral Female the Dogon believe discovered Masking, and from whom Masking was appropriated for use only within the Male Domain.
  • Masks such as this were worn by Men who as Members of the ‘Awa Society’ would dance on the roof of a house of a recently Deceased Relative in order to lead the Departed Soul to it's Resting Place.