Guests will discover figures from private or household shrines, such because the Byeri guardian figure, complemented by these utilized in neighborhood shrines and spaces, corresponding to Mami Wata and the Ethiopian Processional Cross. The masks additionally appear during baga-bundo rites carried out by small numbers of masqueraders before the burial of a male Dogon. Nupe tradition says these sculptures have been taken from Idah, the Igala capital, within the early 16th century. These ceremonial masks are each thought to have a soul, or life pressure, and wearing these masks is thought to rework the wearer into the entity the masks represents.
Themes discovered throughout Dogon sculpture include figures with raised arms, superimposed bearded figures, horsemen, stools with caryatids, ladies with children, figures overlaying their faces, ladies grinding pearl millet, women bearing vessels on their heads, donkeys bearing cups, musicians, canine, quadruped-shaped troughs or benches, figures bending from the waist, mirror-pictures, aproned figures, and standing figures (Laude, 46-52).
The Baga have a wealthy custom of masquerades: the a-muntshol-nga-tsho, a serpentlike being identified with water, fertility, and wealth; the kumbaduba, a heavy wooden masks combining features of varied animals and identified for its spectacular dance movements; and the up to date al-B’rak (Buraq), an adaptation of the woman-headed mare believed to have carried the Prophet Muhammad on a mystical flight.
Masks and different pieces are lined with polychrome, the colors applied in huge patches and sometimes in planes and angles upon smooth surfaces. Carved animal figures, similar to canines and ostriches, are placed on village foundation altars to commemorate sacrificed animals, while granary doorways, stools and home posts are additionally adorned with figures and symbols.
Some Poro masks are constructed of leather, cloth, and white raffia; other objects, including wooden tablets inscribed with Qurʾānic verses, could also be attached to the headdress. Related objects are also carved in ivory, and in some instances copper, brass, and iron are used.