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195

DOGON MASK, MALI

DOGON MASK, MALI

DOGON MASK, MALI

Property from a Private Collection

DOGON MASK, MALI


Height: 12 ¾ in (32.5 cm)

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Pierre Harter, Paris

Private Collection, Paris, acquired from the above in the 1980s

Sotheby's, New York, November 15, 2002, lot 31, consigned by the above

Private Collection, acquired at the above auction

This Dogon mask is notable for its remarkably rigorous and architectural form, with the horizontal lines of the mouth contrasting with the concave, arching vertical forms which delineate the nose and the sides of the head.


This style of mask is known as dege, the name for a black monkey, a creature noted for its unpredictability, gluttony, and general villainy. The dege mask appears in an "obscene or comic performance" which illustrates these character traits (Richards, "What's in a Dogon Mask", Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, Nos. 49 & 50, 2006, p. 108).


For other masks of this type see the example collected by the Mission Paulme-Lifchitz in 1935, now in the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Paris (inv. no. 71.1935.105.34), photographed in 1936 by Man Ray, and another in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. no. 1977.394.35).