African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Dogon Statue
Dogon Dege female figure (N° 13598)
African art and dogon mythology
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Tribal sculpture whose bust is arranged in different losangic volumes connected by endless arms joining over the protruding sex, this African statue Dogon features decorative motifs in checkerboards and a stylized quadrangular umbilical. A goiter shape supports a head with a tuned features, with large circular ears. Collars and bracelets are drawn on the arms. Metal staples control cracks that have appeared over time. The surface is dull, grainy and dry. According to Geneviève Calame-Griaule, these statues, associated with fertility and motherhood, named dege were intermediaries between men and spirits or geniuses. These statues, sometimes embodying the nyama of the deceased, are placed on altars of ancestors and participate in various rituals including those of periods of seeds and harvests. Parallel to Islam, dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, under the spiritual authority of the Hogon, the Wagem, cult of ancestors under the authority of the patriarch, the Binou invoking the world of spirits and led by the priest of Binou, and the society of masks concerning the funeral . According to the dogon cosmogon, the first primordial ancestors of Dogon, called Nommo, were the bisexual gods of water. They were created in heaven by the creator god Amma and descended from heaven to earth in an ark.
The Nommo founded the eight dogon lineages and instilled weaving, the art of forging, and agriculture in their human descendants.
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