african tribe mask

The Dogon tribe in Western Mali is one of the oldest tribes in Eastern Africa.
They are known for their traditional mask dances and statue carving.

Dogon people are good in math and astronomy. They discovered without any form of telescopes that the star Sirius has a double star.

There religion is based on two major principles. Honour the spirits and the ancestors and the believe in Ama, the Creator. The mask on the picture is called Kanaga and the dance simbolizes Ama creating the world with Heaven (two upper ‘arms’) and the Earth (two ‘legs’). This story varies from village to village.

This is the most popular and sacred mask they have. Every man has to carv his own Kanaga.

Along with traditional dances, ceremonies include honouring the ancestors and spirits, offerings and animal sacrifices.

Their tradition is in severe danger because of the Islam. Most of the inhabitants in Mali are Islamic and with the pressure of more and more extremists rising, they have to abandon their Culture.

Dogon use tourism to keep -as they call it- the masks alive. When they stop using a mask it dies with the spirit in it.