African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Dogon figure
Dogon figure (N° 22728)
Figurine of a woman seated on heels. This statuette is made of gilded metal, the surface coated with dark oily deposits, probably for ritual purposes, has rough edges.
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Dogon blacksmiths form an endogamous caste among the Dogon called irim. They now produce weapons, tools, and also work with wood. "Masters of fire" associated in the Dogon cosmogony with the primordial beings "Nommo" created by the god Ama, they are also supposed to heal burns. Small metal objects, made using the lost-wax technique, were widespread in the Inner Niger Delta region, with copper reaching it through trans-Saharan trade. Excavations on the Bandiagara plateau have in fact brought to light vestiges of iron and steel sites prior to the 15th century, the date of the arrival of the Dogon. The Nommo, protective ancestor evoked in different forms in Dogon iconography, would be an ancestor endowed with the ability to manifest himself in human or animal form.
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|Origin||Ex. collection belge JPL|
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