The Dogon Mask Dance at the village of Tireli, Dogon in Mali.
Shot & Edited by Gozilah ©2012.
More about Dogon culture and Rituals: http://yskjp.blog112.fc2.com/?tag=jdogon
Photos : http://www.flickr.com/photos/gozilah/sets/72157628992762453/show/
The Dogon are an ancient tribe from Mali known for their elaborate ceremonial masks used for celebratory dances performed by the men of the tribe. Dogon masks are known throughout the world by anthropologists and art curators. They are among the most highly respected tribal art in the world, having influenced Western 20th-century artists such as Picasso, Braque and the Cubist movement. The masks serve to connect the Dogon people to the world of heaven where the afterworld exists, and Earth, which provides food, shelter and life. The Dogon are a patriarchal society and traditionally the Dogon masks are controlled and cared for by a group of male known as “Awa”. Male dancers bring the mask to life in ancient ritualistic ceremonies such as the “Dama”, a funerary celebration that honors and commemorates the dead as they enter the ancestral realm. Another is the Sigui, a ceremony of initiation and atonement and the Dogon's most culturally significant cerebration that takes place only one time every 60 years.
For the Dogon, these ceremonies give access to the universal vital force and to the reincarnation of the departed. Their outstretched movements symbolically spread the force of life throughout the world. Dogon dance ceremonies can sometimes last for as long as three days and involve dozens of dancers representing figures from the animal world, male and female powers, and the afterworld.
*My friend, Baile Saye, who is from the village of Tireli in Dogon, is a great travel operator based in Bamako. If you are interested in taking a trip to West Africa, especially to Dogon Country, I highly recommend him as your wingman. He speaks French and English. His E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org His Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003240921864