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Dogon Walu Mask

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Item 717
10.00 LBS
$25.00 (Fixed shipping cost)
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)

Product Description


The famous Dogon people of Mali continue an ancient ceremonial tradition which commemorates the origins of death. According to their myths, death came into the world as a result of man's transgressions against the divine order. Every five years, "dama" memorial ceremonies are held to accompany the dead into the ancestral realm and to restore order in the universe. They believe that the masquerade rituals given are absolutely necessary. The Walu mask is one important aspect of these performances. The geometrical wooden mask has an arrow shaped nose that is flanked by deep set triangular eyeholes which is set in a bold rectangular face. What appears to be ears are actually upright horns, indicating that the mask depicts the mythical antelope known as Walu. Walu is said to have been directed by the god of creation, Amma, to protect the sun from the fox Yurugu, who coveted it because he hoped to find his twin sister Yasigi there. To avenge his failed attempt to possess the sun, the fox dug holes in the ground in which the antelope stumbled and fell, gravely injuring himself. Though he was cared for by one of the eight ancestors of mankind created by Amma, the antelope died. The dance of the Walu reflects this story. These important masks are often found on traditionally styled Dogon doors. Our mask has benefitted from a kaolin white powder wash and shows signs of wear from ceremonial usage!

Please click photo for enlargement!

Dimensions: 23 3/4 inches tall x 7 3/4 inches across x 5 1/2 inches deep. 

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*Fixed or free shipping for domestic orders only*



Product Videos

The Tribal Eye: Behind The Mask (wood carving excerpt) (10:51)
This amazing excerpt reveals in great detail how the Dogon people in Mali approach wood carving. Clip borrowed from part one the seven-part series "The Tribal Eye" by David Attenborough. (original airdate: 1975)
  • The Tribal Eye...
    This amazing excerpt reveals in great detail how the Dogon peo...

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