Dogon blacksmith artists form an endogamous caste among the Dogon called irim.
Nowadays they produce weapons, tools, and also work with wood. "Masters of fire", they are also supposed to heal burns (Huib Blom). The Nommo, protective ancestor evoked in different forms in Dogon iconography, would be an ancestor endowed with the ability to manifest himself in human or animal form, hence the frequent decorative motifs adorning the sculptures. The decorative friezes forming wavelets also form a symbol linked to creation.
Red ocher patina.
The Dogon are a people renowned for their cosmogony, their myths and their rituals. Their population is estimated at around 300,000 souls living in the south-west of the Niger loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (north-west of Ouahigouya ).
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