African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Dogon box
Dogon figurative box (N° 21474)
Decorated with bas-relief motifs and horse heads, this African art sculpture is believed to have been designed to store active medicinal preparations prepared according to the advice of the ancients who had been initiated into the science of trees or "jiridon". The figures of "nommos", primordial ancestors, and animal symbols are believed to activate the healing power of the actives. One of the Nommos, ancestors of men, resurrected by the creator god Amma, is said to have descended to earth carried by an ark metamorphosed into a horse. In addition, the highest authority of the Dogon people, the religious chief named Hogon, paraded on his horse during his enthronement because according to custom he should not set foot on the ground. In the region of the Sangha cliffs, inaccessible by horse, the priests carried him while neighing in reference to the mythical ancestor Nommo. (Dogon, Huib Blom) Semi-matt brown patina.
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). The villages are often perched on the top of scree on the side of hills, according to a unique architecture. (Huib Blom).
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