African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Dogon Maternity
Dogon Maternity (N° 14748)
Figure of ancestor hermaphrodite , depicted naked, illustrating one of the daily tasks of this people of the cliffs. At the neck, a necklace korte composed of amulets incorporating verses from the Koran testifies to the Muslim influence in the region.
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This piece features matte, splendored and furrowed wood. Lack under the cup.
The Dogons 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). Villages are often perched atop the scree at the edge of the hills, according to a unique architecture. The history of migration and the facilities of the Dogon (about ten main groups, fifteen different languages), relates to several hypotheses. According to some historians, the Dogons fled from an area west of their present location as a result of an assault. Mostly custom-carved by a family, Dogon statues can also be worshipped by the entire community when they commemorate, for example, the founding of the village. However, their functions remain little known. 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 spirit world and led by the priest of Binou, and the society of masks concerning funerals.
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