Mask

Mask

c. 1930s

Wood, fiber, and pigment

Overall: 94 cm (37 in.)

Gift of Katherine C. White 1971.289

Description

The kanaga, characterized by its double-barred superstructure, has been interpreted variously as representing a bird, a crocodile, 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. See video

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

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