The Tribal Eye: Behind the Mask

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The Tribal Eye is a seven-part BBC documentary series on the subject of Tribal art, written and presented by David Attenborough. It was first transmitted in 1975.

1. “Behind the Mask”

This episode centers on the life and customs of the Dogon people in Mali, concentrating primarily on their masks and mask rituals. After a brief introduction to the Dogon culture, the link between African and European art is elaborated upon, using works by Picasso and Braque as examples. Dogon blacksmiths are shown working on a sculpture and a monkey mask for an old woman’s funeral; the funeral rites, which include masked performances and a staged mock battle, are shown in great detail.

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