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African Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext2 of 2
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
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.
Made in Sahel, Mali
Not on view
20th century

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


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, Amanda Maples, and Laura M. Smalligan, 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.