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Hunter's mask (dannana)

20th–mid 20th century

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas, United States

This hunter’s mask has a human face with a prominent forehead and protruding mouth and an arrow-shaped nose that is a stylistic trait of Dogon figurative art. The forehead and mouth are exaggerated to suggest fierceness and bravery, important qualities for hunters. Because the Dogon believe that game animals are overpowered by magical means, hunters are also magicians. The mask’s surface is encrusted from numerous sacrificial offerings.

The hunter’s mask is worn with a woven fiber hood and a costume composed of a tunic and skirts. The masker holds a short sword in his left hand and a lance in his right. During his performance, he reaches into a small leather bag containing a remedy with which he pretends to treat the wounds of the spectators.

Details

  • Title: Hunter's mask (dannana)
  • Date Created: 20th–mid 20th century
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 14 7/8 x 6 1/8 x 8 3/8 in. (37.783 x 15.558 x 21.273 cm)
  • Type: Costume
  • External Link: https://www.dma.org/object/artwork/5328645/
  • Medium: Wood and encrustation
  • culture: Dogon peoples
  • Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, gift of John Lunsford in gratitude for Margaret McDermott's great devotion to traditional African Art

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