Masquerade costume

The Dogon people of Mali perform ceremonial dances dressed in striking masks and costumes. One such dance honours the dead: every morning and evening for up to six days, masqueraders dance in the village and surrounding fields – even on the deceased’s rooftop. Today, the Dogon also perform dances to entertain tourists.

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What is the meaning of the starburst shape at the centre of this masquerade costume and how does it relate to the use of the costume?

responded: Sep 20, 2011

Posted by Julia W.

Recommend this Response
I use clothing to change my role quite often, shaping my identity based on where I’m going and who I’m with. For example: I dress in a pencil skirt and blazer for my retail job for a more ‘grown up’ role, which helps me to communicate with customers who in turn will view me as a mature younger woman who knows her product knowledge in the retail environment. It is therefore critical for me to wear professional garments, as I’ve noticed near negative responses when I wore black sneakers and ‘comfort wear’, as opposed to ‘Mary Janes’ and blouses. Alternatively, during school or on weekends I dress up in different styles to express my creativity. Some of my styles are derived from Rockabilly, Victorian, Horrorpunk, and Japanese Street Fashion to name a few. My general influences primarily come from pop culture; the music, movies, and unique global cultural styling. Having this variety not only keeps me entertained, but I pride myself in that I don’t specifically stick to one style constantly. The freedom to dress how I want gives lends me an identity to the child within, the one who adored Halloween dress-up and hunted for new and fun experiences. Business chic and style chameleon are two parts of my life, each simultaneously representing and reflecting me as a whole. Clothing triggers an aura, and I sincerely believe that we unconsciously take on a role of what that garment was created for.

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