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: Apr 6, 2012

Posted by Aasiyah

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Recently I began a research project that involved learning about this costume. This costumer lead me on a facinating journey where I discovered a variety of narratives.Masquerade performance is highly ritualized, especially for burial ceremonies. It is not only the performer that is involeved in this spectacle but the maker of the costume as well as the spirit this costume is trying to honor. I created this painting to symbolize this three part relationship. The cricle represents the circle of life where the maker ,performer and the spirit are all interconnected in the act of masquerade.

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