This Dogon tribal altar figure, with angular forms, assembles a couple associated with the primordial Dogon creatures. Their upraised arms, a gesture of contrition following an original fault or a call for rain, lean against the panel connecting the figures.
The matt and grainy surface, some abrasions and cracks.
The southern part of the plateau overlooking the Bandiagara cliff has been occupied since the 10th century by the Tellem and Niongom. They were then displaced by the Dogon in the 15th century, who fled from the Mande. The Tellem became the ancestors of the Kurumba of Burkina Faso.
The Dogon statuary is not easily distinguished from that of the Tellemand nor from that of the Niongom because reciprocal influences have manifested themselves over the centuries. A recurrence: the figures with arms raised above the head , in a position of invocation, which would be an act of contrition following a drought that would have been caused by a violation of the ritual.
Carved for the most part on commission by a family and in this case placed on the family altar Tiré Kabou , Dogon tribal statues can also be the object of worship by the entire community when they commemorate, for example, the founding of the village. These statues, sometimes embodying the nyama of the deceased, are placed on ancestor altars and participate in various rituals including those of the seed and harvest periods. Their functions, however, remain little known.
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