African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Dogon bronze
Dogon bronze (N° 22310)
These haughty figures embody the primordial couple Nommos at the origin of creation among the Dogon of Mali. Evoking the sculptures of Giacometti, these bronze statues are hammered with a succession of notches, punctuating the slender bodies.
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The Dogon are a people renowned for their cosmogony, their esotericism, their myths and legends. Their population is estimated at around 300,000 souls living in the south-west of the Niger loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (north-west of Ouahigouya ). The villages are often perched on top of the scree on the side of the hills, according to a unique architecture. The history of Dogon migrations and settlements (about ten main groups, about fifteen different languages) bears on several hypotheses. For some historians, the Dogon would have fled from an area west of their current location, following an attack. Remains of old steelworks on the Bandiagara plateau, dating from the 15th century, confirm the activity of the blacksmiths. The latter 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).