Ox Mask (Dugn'be)
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
Masks representing dugn’be, meaning “the ox raised in the village,” are used in young men’s initiation ceremonies in the Bijagós Islands, on the Atlantic coast of Guinea-Bissau. The cord that runs through the nostrils of this mask shows that the initiate is like a tethered ox. His strengths, like those of the ox, must be both encouraged and controlled.
Wood, raffia, bone, glass, metal, fur, paint, fiber
15 1/2 x 19 x 9in. (39.4 x 48.3 x 22.9cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Gerofsky
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Bijagó. Ox Mask (Dugn'be), 20th century. Wood, raffia, bone, glass, metal, fur, paint, fiber, 15 1/2 x 19 x 9in. (39.4 x 48.3 x 22.9cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Gerofsky, 1992.69.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1992.69.3_transp499.jpg)
overall, 1992.69.3_transp499.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Wooden buffalo helmet mask in two pieces: head and neck attached by series of raffia ties which span holes around perimeter of each piece. Head: bone animal horns extend and curve out from sides of head; in back of head, below level of horns, a band projects out at sides with triangular tips painted white and red representing ears; large projecting glass eyes circumscribed by raised bands of fur nailed to surface; muzzle area and recessed triangle at center of forehead accentuated with white paint; string inserted through holes in nostrils wraps around to back of head. Neck: spiralling ridged surfaces. CONDITION: Generally good. Fur attachments around eyes worn. Deep cracks extending from perimeter at either side of head.
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