mask

A wooden Dogon mask: local name “satimbe”. The lower section, where the wearer's head would be, is rectangular and painted white, with two holes for the eyes. This section is decorated with zig zag patterns using green paint. The painting of this mask is incomplete. The top section consists of a model of a Dogon woman, made from wood, painted black. She has white shells decorating her head and is sitting on a stool, decorated with pink/green beads and white cowry shells. She is holding a wooden spoon or ladle.

The Satimbe mask joins one of the most well-known groups of Dogon masks (cf Kanaga, Sirige, Walu, etc). It is one of two masks that represent women, and this one refers to female ancestors. It could be related to the older women of the village who prepare food and drink for the male secret mask-making societies, which would explain why she is holding a spoon in her hand. The spoon may be representive of serving millet beer, an integral part of village life and consumed during festivals. Apparently, the name satimbe means ‘superimposed sister’, referring to her position on top of the mask. Ref: Le Musée National du Mali (1993: 85)

Collection Information

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