Performing Knowledge

Certain works of art are central to the education of children and adults. These objects communicate the values and beliefs of past generations through their forms and associated performances. Works in this section explore teaching through the arts in contexts of initiation, storytelling, and theater. Among the peoples of West and Central Africa, certain masks—when danced during periods of initiation—encode spiritual, moral, and practical knowledge. Dolls in many cultures are the playthings of young children, but among the Hopi of southwestern North America, they also represent supernatural intermediaries that can effect change in one’s life. And in theater contexts in Southeast Asia, puppets perform sacred stories, educating and entertaining youth and adults in the great epics of Asia.

  • X65.4779 Sande Association helmet mask (sowei)

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    Object Name: Sande Association helmet mask (sowei)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Mende peoples

    Place of Origin: Sierra Leone

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, pigment, plant fiber

    Dimensions: H: 31.0 cm, W: 7.5 cm, D: 8.0 cm (H: 12.2 in, W: 2.9 in, D: 3.1 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.4779

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  • X67.242a Marionette

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections 


    Artist: U Then Ye
    Rangoon, Burma
    Wood, silk, velvet, metal, glass beads, hair, lace, glass
    H: 62.0 cm, W: 30.0 cm, D: 10.0 cm (H: 24.4 in, W: 11.8 in, D: 3.9 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum Purchase. X67.242a

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  • X68.158 Tihu

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    Tihu of Kooyemsi Katsina (Choral singer and drummer)
    Artist: Grandfather of David Monongye
    Hotevilla, Arizona
    Wood, paint, bandana
    H: 23.5 cm, W: 7.6 cm, D: 6.0 cm (H: 9.2 in, W: 2.9 in, D: 2.3 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase. X68.158

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  • X68.161 Tihu

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    Tihu of Hooli Katsina (Little Brother of the Eagle)
    Artist: Grandfather of David Monongye
    Hopi peoples
    Hotevilla, Arizona
    Circa 1900
    Wood, feather, paint, string
    H: 22.8 cm, W: 8.6 cm, D: 6.7 cm (H: 8.9 in, W: 3.4 in, D: 2.6 in)
    Museum purchase. X68.161

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  • X82.932 Tihu

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    Tihu of Taatangaya Katsina (Hornet)
    Hopi peoples
    Late 20th century
    Wood and paint
    L: 25.5 cm, D: 9.5 cm (L: 10.0 in, D: 3.7 in)
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Nelson. X82.932

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  • X83.978 Mask (kholuka)

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    Object Name: Mask (kholuka)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Yaka peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: Early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 75.0 cm, W: 45.0 cm, D: 50.0 cm (H: 29.5 in, W: 17.7 in, D: 19.7 in)

    Medium/Materials: Wood, polychrome pigment, fiber

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection.

    Accession Number: X83.978

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  • X84.1084 Tihu

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    Object Name: Tihu of Qoia Katsina

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Hopi

    Place of Origin: Arizona, United States

    Date/Era: Circa 1930

    Dimensions: H: 24.5 cm, W: 10.1 cm (H: 9.6 in, W: 4 in)

    Medium/Materials: Wood, feathers

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. Richard M. Cohen.

    Accession Number: X84.1084

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  • X84.1086 Tihu

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    Object Name: Tihu of

    Cultural Group: Hopi peoples

    Place of Origin: Arizona

    Date: Circa 1930

    Dimensions: H: 29.00 cm, W: 18.00 cm, D: 12.70 cm

    Materials Used: Wood, feathers, leather, yarn, fabric, silver, turquoise, string

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. Richard M. Cohen. X84.1086

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