Tellem votive figure (Front view)
Front viewTellem settlement in TireliMaps

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Item : Tellem votive figure, Picture : Front view (approx. 17 Kbytes)

This very old figure undoubtedly depicts a nommo, with hands on both sides of the face. The arms are U-shaped, and the artist used this gesture to create a simplification of the forms to represent a figure with raised arms.

Few Dogon sculptures are as ambiguous as this one. The gesture of raised arms represents various aspects of nommo role in the organization of the universe and its relationship with the god amma, and also in Dogon rituals of fertility (the spiritual being nommo lebe serou is in water and rain).

This piece has all the characteristics of the sculptures attributed to Tellem who populated cliffs of Bandiagara from the 11th to the 14th century. This style is particularly visible in the design of the face, the mouth, the eyes, the nose, and also in the fleshy modeling of the legs.

Object #2284

Origin :

Mali (Tireli area, Bandiagara cliffs)

Type :


Ethnic group :

Tellem / Dogon

Material :

Wood very eroded and micro fissured, dry patina

Size :

H = 11 inches

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