Collections: Arts of the Americas: Dance Mask (Takü)

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Painting of a Standing King

The identity of the king represented as a statue standing in the center of this fragmentary painting cannot be determined, but the colors an...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Painting of a Standing King

    The identity of the king represented as a statue standing in the center of this fragmentary painting cannot be determined, but the colors an...


    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.


    61.34.2_PS6.jpg 61.34.2.jpg 61.34.2_acetate_bw.jpg

    Dance Mask (Takü)

    The Pamí’wa, commonly referred to as the Cubeo, live in the present-day countries of Colombia and Brazil and are known for elaborate dance masks made of painted bark cloth. These full-body masks are worn for the mourning, or ónyo (“weeping”), ceremony, a multiday ritual held approximately a year after an individual’s death. The masks represent the spirits of primordial animals who were created by the deity Kúwai at the beginning of time and were prototypes for real species. Made and worn by men, the masks do not come alive until they are danced, thereby creating a connection between ancestral and present-day worlds. Geometric designs are more common on such masks (see nearby photographs) than the snakes depicted here, which may represent the spirit Ala, a venomous viper.

    Los Pamí’wa, comúnmente llamados Cubeo, viven en los actuales países de Colombia y Brasil, y se conocen por sus elaboradas máscaras de danza hechas de tela de corteza pintada. Estas máscaras de cuerpo completo se usan para el duelo, o ceremonia ónyo (“lamento”), un ritual de varios días realizado aproximadamente un año después de la muerte del individuo. La máscara representa los espíritus de animales primordiales creados por la deidad Kúwai al comienzo de los tiempos y que eran prototipos para las especies verdaderas. Hechas y usadas por hombres, las máscaras no cobran vida hasta que se danza con ellas, creando así una conexión entre los mundos ancestral y presente. Los diseños geométricos son más comunes en dichas máscaras (ver fotografías) que las serpientes representadas aquí, que pueden representar al espíritu Ala, una víbora venenosa.

    • Culture: Pamí’wa, also known as Cubeo
    • Medium: Bark cloth, wood, pigments
    • Geographical Locations:
    • Dates: 20th century
    • Dimensions: 69 x 24 x 22 1/2 in. (175.3 x 61 x 57.2 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Arts of the Americas
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 61.34.2
    • Credit Line: Frank L. Babbott Fund
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Pamí’wa, also known as Cubeo. Dance Mask (Takü), 20th century. Bark cloth, wood, pigments, 69 x 24 x 22 1/2 in. (175.3 x 61 x 57.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, 61.34.2. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 61.34.2_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
    • Catalogue Description: Long, full-body mask of bark cloth with natural color fiber fringe at bottom. Object is narrow at top and wide at bottom held stiff by a wooden hoop. Upper portion painted black with a white face on one side and a tuft of fringe at the top. Center section is cream-colored with yellow and orange snakes separated into four parts by black and orange lines. Upper part of center section has side slits through which tubular brown arm sleeves protrude, their shape maintained by small wooden hoops at the top and bottom. A fiber fringe hangs from the sleeves. Condition is good.
    • Record Completeness: Best (87%)
    advanced 109,686 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."

    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.