Face mask: forager bird

Dogon peoples
Mid 20th century
more object details

General Description

Most Dogon wooden masks have in common a face that is made of three vertical ridges with two hollows between them. The figure carved on top of this mask indicates the spirit the mask personifies.

Dyodyomini, "the pecker," depicts a mythical male hornbill bird that was captured while pecking millet used for bait. The masked dancer mimics the pecking action of birds and recalls the role of young men as the primary farm laborers in Dogon society. Such masks are usually surmounted by a female standing on the beak. The dancer carries staffs with which he pokes holes in the ground to receive seeds for planting.

Excerpt from

  • Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa.

Web Resources

  • YouTube
    Experience the sights and sounds of a Dogon Masquerade.