African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Dogon Statue
Female figure Dogon (N° 14189)
This figure could represent Ya Sigine , a woman whose role is to be the counterweight of the male omnipotence in the social and political order within the Dogon society. This figure, Ya Sigine , would embody the mythical ancestor who allegedly stole the masks from supernatural beings, making a captive an old Albarga introduced to the secrets of masks. The woman initiated to the Ya Sigine has since been the only woman who can participate in dogon rituals and enjoy a masked funeral. In the ladle at its disposal would be contained the powerful nyama . Ya Sigine is consistently depicted on the satimbe masks which she also overcomes: the gaze is stretched towards the horizon, the chest is straight, but above all the arms are disproportionately long. This protective sculpture presents the Ya Sigine sitting on a stool whose feet feature Nommo, mythical geniuses. The smooth patina, remarkably satin, offers granular residues, peeled locally, of a dark coating following libations. This piece was brought back before 1990 by a Unesco teacher based in Bobo Dioulasso. Desication cracks.
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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.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1970|
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