Lot: 230

99th Auction

Face mask "dyodyomini"

Mali, Dogon

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Ketterer, Munich, 15 December 1990, Lot 53
Private Collection, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
H: 29.9 inch;
L: 39.4 inch (beak)
1800 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, pigment residues, rest., base

This mask represents a hornbill and is also known as the "picoreur" (French for hornbill).

According to Marcel Griaule, the "dyodyomini" myth recalls how a young man, overwhelmed by the death of his father, observed a hornbill pecking seeds and then beginning to sing. This experience gave the grieving son the inspiration and strength he needed to perform the funeral ceremonies of the "dama".

A mask in the shape of the hornbill was then created and the dancers wearing it scraped the ground with its long beak to imitate the animal's behaviour in picking the grains.

By reviving the great myths and their protagonists through mask ceremonies, the Dogon try to restore the balance disturbed by death or other misfortune.

Usually, the mask is crowned by a female figure representing a mythical woman "yasigine". In this case, a bird sculpture forms the crown.

Bilot et al., Masques du pays Dogon, Paris 2001, p. 124 ff.