Dogon masks, such as this one called kanaga, are worn primarily at dama, a collective funerary rite for Dogon men. The ritual’s goal is to ensure the safe passage of the spirits of the deceased to the world of the ancestors. The ceremony is organized by members of Awa, a male initiation society with ritual and political roles within Dogon society. As part of the public rites related to death and remembrance, Awa society members are responsible for the creation and performance of the masks.
Like other Dogon wooden masks, kanaga masks depict the face as a rectangular box with deeply hollowed channels for the eyes. The body represents a crocodile. Crocodiles are considered a fierce but protective spirits in Dogon culture.
ABOUT THE COLLECTOR
Marjan Ertefai runs an interior design and architectural practice based in the FrenchAlps. An experienced traveller and avid collector of tribal arts, she believes art plays a central role in defining a space. She takes an intuitive approach to her design process, combining iconic furniture and objects of the past with contemporary pieces and indigenous arts from around the world.
Her relationship with talented artisans and resourceful foraging play in integral role in each project. The goal is not to create a template style, but to design a space that is personal, telling a story about its owner.
Her interest in art and architecture was broadened while attending the Architectural Association in London. Since then, she’s worked on designing and building several eclectic homes in London and France.