Dogon Dance Adornment

A nice unusual styled Dogon dance adornment worn for ceremonial dance purposes.

Tribe: Dogon

Origin: Mali

Approx Age: Mid 20th Century

Materials: plant fibre, cowrie shells

Dimensions cm: 53 shoulder to waist x 47

Ref. Number: knpc



A lovely traditional styled Dogon dance adornment, with three tie bands around the stomach area, fastened with knots of the plant fibre base material pulled through loops, two bands up and over the shouder joining to one piece that runs down the spine. Plant fibre base covered in hundreds of cowrie shells. These dance adornments are very hard to find and rarely come up for sale. Mask not included.


Provenance: Ex US private collection.



The Dogon form ceremonial dances to lead the homeless souls of the deceased to their final resting places in the world of spirit, where they become part of the ancestor realm. Within these ceremonies the Dogon people use a very large variety of different masks and accompany them with brightly coloured plant fibre arm bands and skirts and also different styles of a body adornment or vest made from cowrie shells sewn to a woven hard wearing cloth.

The Dogon celebrate and perform many dances for many different reasons, weddings, funerals, the first rains, the start of millet season. Music also plays a big part in the dances and celebrations .There are dances and music to commemorate the ancestors during funerals or dama two or three years after village elders die. It’s when masks come out to guide the souls of the dead outside the village and into the world of ancestors. The Dogon still practice an ancient dance tradition, called the Dama memorial, which marks the passing of village elders.

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