Data and the ship are both repositories for the mythology of some planet or other. The TNG Rewatch wears some "Masks."
Ihat told Picard that Korgano is the only one who can control Masaka. Picard, Troi, and Worf try to find the symbol that they think represents Korgano in the temple—which Picard has actually seen all over in small form amongst other symbols. As they do so, Data puts on the mask that he made in Troi’s class, takes down the two security guards posted to his quarters (seriously, why were the two guards so utterly unprepared to deal with him? it’s not like his sooooper android speed and strength is a big secret), and then shows up in the temple. He is now Masaka, but will not listen to anyone. La Forge finds the one instance of Korgano’s symbol by itself and plugs it into the transformation program, which provides them with another mask.