Lot: 23099th Auction
Face mask "dyodyomini"
|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)
plus 23 % 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.