Skip to Main Content

Mask (Kanaga)

c. 1930s
Overall: 94 cm (37 in.)
This artwork is known to be under copyright.
Location: not on view

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

Performing the kanaga mask takes a lot of physical strength, so teenagers or young men typically dance it.

Description

The kanaga, characterized by its double-barred superstructure, has been interpreted variously as representing a bird, a crocodile, Amma (the creator god), or the cosmic realms of sky and earth. Kanaga maskers perform as part of dama rites, whose goal is to escort the soul of a deceased on its journey to the spiritual realm. The masks are spectacular in motion—dramatic dips and whirls in which the dancer touches the top of the mask to the ground with each rapid revolution.
Mask (Kanaga)

Mask (Kanaga)

c. 1930s

Africa, West Africa, Mali, Dogon-style maker

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.