Dogon ancestor figure (Detail)
Front viewDetailTellem settlement in TireliMaps

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Item : Dogon ancestor figure, Picture : Detail (approx. 14 Kbytes)


This statue represents a male standing figure. Arms are missing, but were brought back on the navel and formed a kind of plate. One notices the pride of the head with ears U-shaped, the long and fine body, and the very ancient break of the arm leaving no doubt as for the great antiquity of this exceptional piece.

Sculpted in traditional forms and proportions, this figure was undoubtedly dedicated to the ancestors' cult. A rather rare element supplements the aesthetic balance of this object : a very old iron chain provided with shells. This is the chain of a binu priest (the hogon), in charge of religious rituals. The shells may symbolize the bones of the lebe snake, the primordial ancestor whose cult is concerned with fertility and regeneration of the earth.
17th / 19th century.

Object #2321

Origin :

Mali (Tireli area, Bandiagara cliffs)

Type :

Statuary

Ethnic group :

Dogon

Material :

Densely eroded wood with gray tonality, iron and shells

Size :

H = 21.2 inches

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