Tribal art > African Statues > Tellem statue
Tellem statue (N° 20768)
This traditional African art object was made to order by a family and was in this case placed on the family altar Tiré Kabou. African tribal statues of the Dogon can also be the object of worship by the entire community when they commemorate, for example, the founding of the village. These statues, sometimes embodying the nyama of the deceased, are placed on ancestor altars and participate in various rituals including those of the seed and harvest periods. Their functions, however, remain little known. Influenced stylistically by the Tellem whom they replaced in the Bandiagara region from the 15th century, the Dogon adopted this same vertical position in their statuary.
Inheritors of the Tellem works abandoned in the region, they adopted some of them that they resacralized to use in their own rites.
The figures with raised arms would always symbolize a prayer to Amma to grant the rain essential to all life. It could also be a gesture of contrition following the violation of a ritual law that led to a drought.
Watch the video
Matt granular patina. Desiccation cracks.