Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Dogon Ancestor Female Figure Nommo Mali African Art Collection

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Title Dogon Ancestor Female Figure Nommo Mali African Art Collection
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Mali
People Dogon
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 32 Inches
Width: 8 Inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair N/A

Additional Information:

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.


From the Collection of Robert Pearson, Denver, Colorado

Bob Pearson began collecting African art later in his life. He was a n engineer, inveterate climber, and long-time collector of books and paintings. Spurred by the Douglas Society at the Denver Museum of Art, and his friendship with noted collector George Heggarty, he began building an enormous, eclectic collection. His African art library grew to several hundred books. He loved textiles and “material culture”-things which had domestic use, like spoons, cups, stools, and chairs, as well as masks and carvings. His collection included items from more than thirty African countries, and his fine eye gave him pieces ranging from a golddust scale to huge Dogon figural ladders. Africa Direct is honored to have been chosen to sell them.