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Tribal art > African Statues > Dogon figure

Dogon Tellem altar figure (N° 21712)

The tribal African statues of the Dogon can be the object of worship on behalf of the whole community when they commemorate, for example, the foundation 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 periods of seeds and harvests. This is a statuette of personal worship, with a dense, oily and slightly abraded patina, under which appears a light wood.
The figures with raised arms would symbolize a prayer to Amma to grant the rain necessary for all life. According to the sources, it would also be a gesture of contrition following the violation of a law that resulted in a drought. Sacrificial patina. The south of the plateau overlooking the Bandiagara escarpment has been occupied since the 10th century by the Tellem and the Niongom. They were then moved by the Dogon in the 15th century, who fled the Mandé. The Tellem became the ancestors of the Kurumba of Burkina Faso. The Dogon statuary is not easily distinguished from that of the Tellem and nor that of the Niongom because reciprocal influences have manifested themselves over the centuries . A recurrence: the characters with arms raised above their heads, in a summoning position.


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OriginCollection P. Malisse
Height cm27
Width6 cm
Weight0.15 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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