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Dogon Ancestor Female Figure Nommo Mali African Art

Regular Price: $240.00

Special Price: $140.00

Product #: 121625
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Title Dogon Ancestor Female Figure Nommo Mali African Art
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Mali
People Dogon
Materials Wood
Approximate Age mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 14.5 Inches
Width: 3.75 Inches
Depth: 3 Inches
Overall Condition good
Damage/Repair Indigenous repairs to arm, crack and well worn patina. Has strong odor.


Additional Information: A wonderful stylized Dogon figure with a tall spire on the top of his head.  His body is covered in a decorative cloak, and there are geometric patterns on most surfaces.  The surface is encrusted with a rich patina, with extensive evidence of age and use. Such figures were placed in ancestor shrines to honor the ancestors and ask for blessing, ensure fertility and good will, and to chase away malevolent forces.  The art dealers we purchased this from told us it was a pestle for gringing up medicine.


Dogon art is not a single fixed style as has been often characterized in discussions of their sculpture, for the age of Dogon art extends to the past as early as the 12th century and continues to be created in the present with a number of sub-styles measured against the core of an identifiable Dogon art and style. The Dogon interchange stylistic elements with neighboring groups producing an interesting hybridism in some of their interesting sub-styles. This sculpture reflects an influence that neighboring groups can have on the well defined core of Dogon sculpture. West of the Dogon heartland the Dogon interact with the other major art producing people of Mali, the Bamana (Bambara). These figures show the influence of the Mande speaking Bamana (the Dogon are Gur language speakers – different language, different cultures!) in sculptural attributes well defined. These include a squared body, keel shaped head and ‘U’- shaped ears. A Bamana blacksmith could easily have carved the figure. If truly a Dogon figure it represented an ancestor identified to an individual, family, village or region. If an ancestor it represents either a familial ancestor or one of the original eight Nommo who descended to earth to create us, the world and continue to be interested in the affairs of man.

Recommended Reading: Laude's AFRICAN ART OF THE DOGON, Amex DOGON STATUARY, Ezra's ART OF THE DOGON, Ndiaye's ARTS DU PAYS DOGON.