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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Dugn"be (ox) Mask

Dugn"be (ox) Mask

Young men of the canhoca, an age grade for 12- to 17-year-olds, are occasionally be impetuous and irresponsible. The dugn'be mask recognizes this phase of childhood. On hands and knees in portrayal of an ox, the masquerader is tethered by a cord passing through the nostrils. An adult may provoke the ox and allow it to rebel. Eventually, though, the masquerader calms down and demonstrates how, like the ox, the young man is beginning to master his strength.

Wood, ox horns, leather, and glass
19 3/4 x 22 5/8 x 14 5/8 in. (50.2 x 57.5 x 37.1 cm)
Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryLos Angeles, California, Frederick S Wight Gallery, University of California, African Art In Motion, January 20-March 17, 1974; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., April 21-July 30, 1974.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Selections from The Katherine White Collection, March 12 - August 8, 1987
Published ReferencesUniversity of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, African Art in Motion: Icon and Act, Robert Farris Thompson, 1974, p. 134, plate 170. (catalog of the exhibition.)

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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