Hare Mask (Dyommo)
15 1/2 x 7 x 5 1/2 in. (39.37 x 17.78 x 13.97 cm)
Medium and Support:
Wood and pigment
Gift of Dileep and Martha Mehta
Among the Dogon, the Awa society conducts public rituals to insure the orderly passage of the dead into the supernatural realm. Many masked Awa members parade in spectacles on the public square, especially when celebrating the end of mourning for one or more recent deaths.
Masked characters dance to demonstrate the ideals associated with young men—stamina, agility, strength, action, speed, and skill. As the spirits of the dead are drawn to watch, they can be appropriately escorted to the spirit world, where they can be productive and where they can be called on again to assist the living.