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Mask  (dugn'be)
Date: Late 19th to mid-20th century
Medium: Wood, cow horns, glass, plant fiber, paint
Dimensions: H x W x D: 27 x 50 x 30 cm (10 5/8 x 19 11/16 x 11 13/16 in.)
Credit Line: Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
Geography: Bolama Region, Guinea-Bissau
Object Number: 2005-6-53
Search Terms:
Male use
Object is not currently on exhibit

The Bijogo classify people not just by physical age, but in combination with personal and communtiy behavior linked to initiation. Different bovine masks and costumes mark certain of the stages of initiation. Dugn'be, "the ox raised in the village" is worn by a physically mature young man. He is still considered to be learning the proper behavior of an adult much like the ox with the leading string through his nose. Typically this mask has a massive wood head with a painted triangle pattern, bottle glass eyes and real horns.

Mask in the form of an ox with two horns extending from the head and face outward and carved eyes, nose and mouth. The head is divided by a white painted triangle at the top, most of the head and face is black and the muzzle area is white with a red mouth. Orange fibers are bundled at the bottom of the back and hang down. Orange fibers are attached around the base of the horns. The proper left horn has a red cord hanging from the tip with objects of fiber and/or shell attached in two places along the cord.

Paul and Ruth Tishman, New York, -- to 1984

Artful Animals, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., July 1, 2009-July 25, 2010

For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1981

Kreamer, Christine Mullen, Bryna Freyer and Andrea Nicolls. 2007. African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 112, fig. 41.

Roberts, Allen F. 1995. Animals in African Art. Munich: Prestel; New York: Museum for African Art, p. 113, no. 14.

Vogel, Susan (ed). 1981. For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 56-57, no. 25.

Washington Parent. 2009. Bethesda: Washington Parent (July), p. 20.

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