S O L D
Fine Dogon Sim Mask
Mali, Late 19th century
Dimensions: 90 x 18.5 x 13 cm
Provenance: Segy Gallery, New York – COA dated January 25, 1974
From the Rona Family Collections, Princeton, NJ
Wood, very old encrusted white and black pigmentation, resin
Fine Dogon Sim Mask , of geometric proportions with a tall super structure missing cross bars wrapped in resin and leather to form an old ‘indigenous’ repair
Descending into an open work upper frame.
The face of the mask broken down into pure cubist forms: two long rectangular openings and small square holes construct a face of pure linear abstraction
With certificate and original receipt by Ladislas Segy, 1974.
Literature: Laude, Jean. African art of the Dogon: The Myths of the Cliff Dwellers. Studio. 1973. Print. Fig. 100.
The certificate by Segy Gallery reads ‘Originally this sim mask had a superstructure made of palm wood (different from the wood used to carve the mask itself), representing a figure with arms and legs, – presently missing. But to the mask the lower part of this figure is still attached with palm fiber (or cordage) painted black.” – Ladislas Segy, Director, New York, January 25, 1974.
* Dogon art
Dogon art is primarily sculpture. Dogon art revolves around religious values, ideals, and freedoms (Laude, 19). Dogon sculptures are not made to be seen publicly, and are commonly hidden from the public eye within the houses of families, sanctuaries, or kept with the Hogon (Laude, 20). The importance of secrecy is due to the symbolic meaning behind the pieces and the process by which they are made.
Themes found throughout Dogon sculpture consist of figures with raised arms, superimposed bearded figures, horsemen, stools with caryatids, women with children, figures covering their faces, women grinding pearl millet, women bearing vessels on their heads, donkeys bearing cups, musicians, dogs, quadruped-shaped troughs or benches, figures bending from the waist, mirror-images, aproned figures, and standing figures (Laude, 46–52).
Signs of other contacts and origins are evident in Dogon art. The Dogon people were not the first inhabitants of the cliffs of Bandiagara. Influence from Tellem art is evident in Dogon art because of its rectilinear designs (Laude, 24).
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