Dogon figure with bowl (Three quarters view)
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Item : Dogon figure with bowl, Picture : Three quarters view (approx. 19 Kbytes)


This female figure is represented with a bowl atop the head. 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. The thick aged patina of this object demonstrates clearly its great age and its ritual use by many generations.

Sacrificial materials are poured on figure sculptures and other ritual objects found on personal altars. 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. 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.
18th / 19th century.

Object #5338

Origin :

Mali (Yougo Dogorou area)

Type :

Statuary

Ethnic group :

Dogon

Material :

Eroded wood, traces of thick encrusted sacrificial materials

Size :

H = 15.2 inches

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