In dogon country, in animists villages, some important ceremonies take place especially (but not only) to celebrate funerals, involving the apparition of the mask secret society for impressive dances. Mali.
The mask represented here is the mask called “Young girl”.
The process for entering into the secrets of the mask society starts after circonsion and is reserved to the boys,who will learn hos to speak the “language of the masks”. Children and women are not allowed to look at the dance, so they stay at good distance around the dancers.
Becoming a member of the mask society is the “big affair” of young boys, dreaming of it, and sketching on paper the different masks.
As many secret society, the dogon masks society also take care to solve important conflicts of the community, even sometimes by “expeditive means”. The mask society is also to some extent, and if really necessary for the sake of the community,a kind of internal police…
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