Boys and masks among the Dogon

TitleBoys and masks among the Dogon
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsW. E. A.van Beek
EditorS. Ottenberg, and D.A. Binckley
Secondary TitlePlayful performers. African children's masquerades
Pagination67 - 88
Date Published2006///
PublisherTransaction Publishers
Place PublishedNew Brunswick/London
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsboys, children, Dogon, Mali, masks, masquerades

This article describes boy's masquerades among the Dogon (Mali). Boy's masquerading activities in Dogon society are well integrated with the main masking endeavours of adult men. The boys learn the dances of the masks at a very young age, in performances that are part and parcel of the main ritual cycle. Burying the divination fox, concluding public dances at the funerals, the boys form the rim of public festivals. Also, their role as the 'sagiri' (boys' masks, made only of branches and leaves), with their own masquerade, has similar characteristics. Where the 'emna' (adult men) masquerades can be interpreted as the bush coming into the village, within the masking complex boys are among the first to interact with these masks. As semi-initiated, they are the ones that know a little, dance a little, speak a little, function as intermediaries for the intermediaries. Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]

Citation Key709