African art > Bronze rider, wooden rider, dogon, yoruba > Dogon Rider
Dogon Rider (N° 13743)
Prestigious sculptures in the African art of Mali
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Frequent horseman's representations, among the Dogon of Mali, refer to their cosmogony and their complex religious myths. Indeed, one of the Nommos, ancestors of men, resurrected by the creator god Amma, descended on the earth carried by an arch transformed into a horse. Moreover, the highest authority of the Dogon people, the religious leader named Hogon, was parading on his mount at his induction because, according to custom, he was not to set foot on the ground. In the area of the cliffs of Sangha, inaccessible on horseback, the priests wore it, while hating in reference to the mythical ancestor Nommo. The Dakar-Djibouti mission of 1931, led by Marcel Griaule , was tasked with studying in depth the rites of this population established in the cliff region of Bandiagara, south-west of the Niger Loop. The Dogon, a people of farmers, are said to be made up of several peoples who have taken refuge there as a result of repeated droughts or invasions. This work was then completed by a number of eminent researchers and anthropologists. This sculpture depicts a dogon chef aconized with bracelets that testify to his bravery. According to Gabriel Massa, only wealthy people can order the blacksmith this type of prestige sculptures, rare, intended for an individual cult. The wood of this ancient piece is visibly altered, many gaps are to be noted, especially on one side of the face. Beneath the matte ritual material appears a light wood.
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