Tribal art > African Statues > Dogon statue
Dogon statue (N° 20397)
This hermaphroditic figure, with a narrow, tubular anatomy, has a head characteristic of Dogon statuary. Prominent eyes, close together, a beard in a tray. The desiccated surface has a natural patina, without any libatory residue, indicating its function. Unlike sculptures intended for ancestor altars, it was presented during funerals of wealthy men, placed on the terraces, and then kept by the hogon. Chevron patterns, symbolizing the original ancestor Lebe metamorphosed into a snake, form a belt on the bust. Desiccation cracks.
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The Dogon are a people renowned for their cosmogony, esotericism, myths and legends. Their population is estimated at about 300,000 souls living southwest of the Niger loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (northwest of Ouahigouya). Carved for the most part on commission by a family, Dogon statues may also be the object of worship by the entire community. However, little is known about their functions.
Ref : "Art of the Dogon" The Metropolitan Museum of Art".
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