African Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Mask with Goiter (Odyogoro)

early 20th century

Wood, encrustation, and rice

21 1/2 × 7 × 8 in. (54.61 × 17.78 × 20.32 cm)
Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection
2006.51.324
A variety of masks appear in both the traditional funeral dances and the contemporary performances of the Dogon. Their masks represent the entire universe, including antelopes and gazelles, various birds, reptiles, and animals now seen less frequently in Mali, such as monkeys and lions. Many masks stereotype foreigners such as the Fulbe, Bamana, and Europeans. Other masks represent human types such as the old man, ritual chief, young man, hunter, blacksmith, thief, and, in this case, a diseased person suffering from a goiter. The dancer who wears this mask hacks awkwardly at the air with an adze, and the performance draws laughter from the crowd.
Culture: 
Dogon
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Masks
Geography: 
Made in Sahel, Mali
Status: 
Not on view
Provenance: 

Charles B. Benenson Collection, Greenwich, Conn; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

Frederick John Lamp, “Charles Benenson and His Legacy of African Art to Yale,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2004): 30, ill.

“Acquisitions, July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2006): 222.

Frederick John Lamp, Accumulating Histories: African Art from the Charles B. Benenson Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012), 220, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.