African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Dogon Box
Dogon pharmacopoeia box (N° 19868)
Decorated with figures in bas-relief, this African art sculpture, a box with two movable flaps, established on three legs, was probably designed to preserve 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 supposed to activate the healing power of the active. Satin brown patina.
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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). The villages are often perched on the top of scree on the side of hills, according to a unique architecture. The history of the migrations and settlements of the Dogon (about ten main groups, about fifteen different languages), involves several hypotheses. For some historians, the Dogon would have fled from an area west of their current location, following an aggression.The Dogon blacksmiths artisans, forming an endogamous caste named irim, today produce weapons, tools, and also work with wood. "Masters of fire", they are also supposed to heal burns (Huib Blom).
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