Photographer's Note

When I arrived in Mali, I just felt that this country was going to seduce me; and it did.

The "Pays Dogon" in the heart of the country is such a truly beautiful place. The landscape is impressive and reminds one somehow of the beginning of our civilisation. I guess that the primitive villages built around this rather rough looking landscape of rocks and hills enforce the feeling. The Dogon culture is still embedded in pure tradition as was the mask dance that I was lucky enough to witness.

Masked dance performances are held on the occasion of funerary rituals which are governed by the "Society of the Masks". This society gathers all circumcised men, young and old. Young boys become members after having been circumcised. Authority is established according to age and many members sculpt their own mask.

It's quit a privilege to witness this part of the Dogon culture and not all that common. The music, chant and drums sweeps up the dancers as they jump and dance around the village square. Under the burning sun, they wear a traditional costume and a heavy self carved wooden or bead mask. You can not (or hardly) see the eyes of the actual dancer, not through their masks nor through the beads, which makes it quit an overwhelming experience to stand eye in eye with them.

When the children of the village come close to the dancers, it doesn't take them much to scare the little ones away. I stood foot though; looked the event straight in the eye and bite through the dust as the dancers stamped their feet on the Dogon ground. I was swept away by their elegant, agile and primitive moves while the African drums were echoing through the village.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Sabine Schoep (Bien) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 380 W: 47 N: 954] (4745)
  • Genre: Pessoas
  • Medium: Cor
  • Date Taken: 2006-11-05
  • Categories: Cerimónias
  • Camera: Nikon D50
  • Exposição: f/4.5, 1/640 segundos
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Versão da Foto: Versão Original
  • Date Submitted: 2006-12-06 7:49
  • Favoritos: 2 [ver]
Viewed: 5324
Points: 29
Additional Photos by Sabine Schoep (Bien) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 380 W: 47 N: 954] (4745)
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