The frequent representations of riders 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 to earth carried by an ark transformed into a horse. In addition, the highest authority of the Dogon people, the religious leader named Hogon, paraded on his mount during his enthronement because according to custom he was not to set foot on the ground. In the region of the cliffs of Sangha, inaccessible on horseback, the priests wore it, while neighing in reference to the mythical ancestor Nommo.
The 1931 Dakar-Djibouti mission, led by Marcel Griaule, was tasked with studying in depth the rites of this population established in the region of the Bandiagara cliffs, to the south-west of the bend of the Niger. The Dogon, people of farmers, would be composed of several peoples having found refuge there following droughts or repeated invasions. This work was then supplemented by a number of eminent researchers and anthropologists.
Dogon blacksmiths form an endogamous caste among the Dogon called irim. They now produce weapons, tools, and also work with wood. "Masters of fire", they are also supposed to heal burns (Huib Blom).
Reddish brown patina, small chips.
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