Item Records

This page shows all the information we have about this item. Both the institution that physically holds this item, and RRN members have contributed the knowledge on this page. You’re looking at the item record provided by the holding institution. If you scroll further down the page, you’ll see the information from RRN members, and can share your own knowledge too.

The RRN processes the information it receives from each institution to make it more readable and easier to search. If you’re doing in-depth research on this item, be sure to take a look at the Data Source tab to see the information exactly as it was provided by the institution.

These records are easy to share because each has a unique web address. You can copy and paste the location from your browser’s address bar into an email, word document, or chat message to share this item with others.

  • Data
  • Data Source

This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Monkey mask carved of wood and painted. The mask has a flat face, and cutout rectangular eyes. Seated white monkey figure has thin curved torso with long arms that rest on its legs. Its ears, sunken eyes, and front are painted bright pink. The monkey has slit eyes, a long triangular nose and mouth.

History Of Use

The monkey masks are usually used by the Awa male society, and are used to represent anti-social behaviour, and the dangers of the wilderness. Wild, uncivilized, and dangerous behaviours are opposite to the beliefs of the Dogon. Thus, men that perform these masks are mimicking behaviour that the community should avoid. The masks are performed as part of Dama festivals, which commemorate the origin of death. During this ritual, the masked performances carried out by Dogon men lead the dead to the ancestral realm. At the end of Dama, the deceased belong to the ranks of ancestors and through the word of Amma, the Creator, the community is given strength, fields are fertilized, and women and cattle are fertile. Since the 1930s, these masks have been used outside Dama for entertainment performances, especially for tourists.

Iconographic Meaning

Mask representing the red monkey, Ko.

Item History

With an account, you can ask other users a question about this item. Request an Account

With an account, you can submit information about this item and have it visible to all users and institutions on the RRN. Request an Account

Similar Items