mask (dance & live theatre)

Dogon plank mask, Sirige, in two parts

Sirige masks are easily recognised by their extreme lengths (such as this one, which measures 3m76) carved from a single tree. They can reach up to six metres. Similar masks are also found amongst the neighbouring Mossi and Bobo. It is used in masquerades such as the Dama (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). When performed, the highly skilled dancer ‘swings’ the mask so that the tip touches the ground in rotation movement. The mask itself is said to represent a multi-storey house. Its length also represents the connection between the world of the ancestors (heaven) and the living on earth. Also referred to as the ‘multistory’ mask in French: le masque à étage.

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.

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