Dogon figures (Three quarters view)
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Item : Dogon figures, Picture : Three quarters view (approx. 27 Kbytes)


These statuettes depict a couple of figures with truncated legs, and whose arms are bent at the elbows and at the wrists to create a step like form. The breasts are placed high on the torsos and continue the mass of the shoulders. This stylization of the human body can be seen in many Dogon sculptures (see attached video). The almost featureless faces conform to the simplification of forms that characterizes these sculptures. These pieces probably represent nommo ancestors.
Sacrificial materials are poured on figure sculptures and other ritual objects found on personal altars, ancestral altars, in binu sanctuaries, and on altars dedicated to nommo. Many different substances are used for sacrifice, including the blood of chickens, sheep, and goats slaughtered for this purpose, mixtures of various plant juices with millet flour or flour made from the fruit and seeds of the baobab, concoctions of burned herbs, and shea oil. These sacrificial materials are vehicles for nyama, the vital force that determines a person's mental and physical well-being and allows a person to continue living. Nyama is found in all living things, including animals and plants, and in supernatural beings as well. It can be liberated from its support and transmitted to another being. When a sacrifice is made, the nyama of the sacrificial material strengthens and increases not only the nyama of the spiritual being to whom the sacrifice is offered but also that of the persons who perform the sacrifice.
16th / 17th century.

Object #5324

Origin :

Mali (Bandiagara cliffs area)

Type :

Statuary

Ethnic group :

Dogon

Material :

Eroded wood, very fine sacrificial patina

Size :

H = 7.6 inches

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