TITLE: Bozo Sogo Kun
TYPE: mask
GENERAL REGION: Africa
COUNTRY: Mali
ETHNICITY: Bozo
DESCRIPTION: Sogo Kun Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Entertainment; Social Status
AGE: ca. 1970s
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint; dyed cloth; plant fiber; hardware

The Bozo people of Mali inhabit the area along the Niger River and live predominantly by fishing. Many have been converted to Islam, but they nonetheless maintain animist beliefs and masking traditions today. Unlike other west and central African peoples, however, the Bozo do not use masks for important spiritual functions so much as for entertainment.  Masks and associated puppets (sometimes, the two are combined) entertain the village and raise the dancer’s social status through demonstrations of skill in mask making and dancing.