African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Dogon bronze
Dogon horseman statue in bronze (N° 20094)
Delicate bonzier work for this ancient figure of a Dogon horseman featuring a character, the hogon, equipped with his stick, and riding bareback. Ritual ochre patina.
The frequent representations of horsemen among the Dogon of Mali refer to their cosmogony and their complex religious myths. Indeed, one of the Nommos, ancestors of men, resurrected by the creator god Amma, came down to earth carried by an ark metamorphosed into a horse. Moreover, the highest authority of the Dogon people, the religious chief named Hogon, paraded on his horse during his enthronement because according to the custom he should not put his foot on the ground. In the region of the Sangha cliffs, inaccessible by horse, the priests carried him, neighing in reference to the mythical ancestor Nommo.
Dogon blacksmiths form an endogamous caste among the Dogon called irim. Today they produce weapons, tools, and also work with wood. "Masters of fire" associated in Dogon cosmogony with the primordial beings "Nommo" created by the god Ama, they are also supposed to cure burns. Small metal objects, made using the lost wax technique, were widespread in the region of the interior delta of the Niger, copper reaching it thanks to the trans-Saharan trade. Excavations on the Bandiagara plateau have uncovered the remains of iron and steel sites dating back to the 15th century, the date of the arrival of the Dogon. Since the Islamization of the region, which prohibited human representations, small ritual objects of this type have disappeared.
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|Origin||Collection Pr J. Putteneers|
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