Festivais Gil Vicente
Festas da Cidade e Gualterianas
Festivais Gil Vicente
Festas da Cidade e Gualterianas
Festivais Gil Vicente
Festas da Cidade e Gualterianas
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Bidyogo Masks
Bidyogo, Guinea-Bissau

Wood and pigments

45,5 x 40,5 x 37cm

Among the Bidyogo, martial virtues are cultivated during a long process of learning organised into age groups, which convokes the knowledge of the behaviour, abilities and virtues of the most powerful animals of the land and sea. While younger boys use calf and fish masks, older, uninitiated youth, use bull, shark or swordfish masks. Any of the ceremonial dances associated with these masks is unpredictable and violent, reflecting the character of the animal and its own undomesticated nature.


The rope that passes through the nostrils of some of these masks, symbolises that the initiate is like a tethered bull, belonging to the group which precedes the phase of initiation, meaning he is a being whose strength only then will start being tamed.

Gallois Duquett, Françoise, in F. roberts, Allen (1995), Animals in African Art - From The Familiar to the Marvellous, New York, Prestel, Museum for African Art, p. 112
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Arte Africana | Máscaras Bijagós

49 x 39 x 28 cm

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Máscaras Bijagós

36 x 45 x 27

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Máscaras Bijagós

61 x 38 x 31 cm

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Máscaras Bijagós

61 x 38 x 31 cm

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Máscaras Bijagós

36 x 45 x 27

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