mask (dance & live theatre)

Dogon antelope mask

Walu masks are another (as well as the Kanaga for example) common mask used during the rites of the dama festivals (part of the Dama funeral rites, which assure the passing of life from one universe to another, and the good relations between the universe of the living and that of the dead). As well as ancestral worship during the Dama, the Dogon offer agricultural sacrifices and the Walu mask represents the animal, the antelope – the Bamanan-speaking peoples also have an important antelope mask for agricultural rites, called the ciwara. Both share the similar two raised/ pointed ‘horns’, and the Walu has two rectangular holes for the eyes. The Walu is danced by initiated who also speak the secret language.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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