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Dogon Lidded Ritual Container Bamako Mali African

Product #: 113506
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Title Dogon Lidded Ritual Container Bamako Mali African
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture, Container
Country of Origin Mali
People Dogon
Materials wood, pigment
Approximate Age Mid 20th Century.
Dimensions Height: 25 Inches
Width: 10 Inches
Depth: 12 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. 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 Shallow cracks and chips in lid and bowl

Additional Information: An elaborate container with lid and bowl.  The bowl is decorated with a Nommo figure riding a stylized horse and geometric motifs.  Wonderful thick patina, with light smokey odor.

This container comes from the Dogon people and was served as a container for ritual elements. The carved human figures represent  nommo, the primordial  ancestor and recalls the Dogon myth of creation. Amma, the Creator God, originally created eight humans known as Nommo, who were divided into four pairs, male and female, who in the Dogon creation myth come down to the earth in a kind of an ark, drawn by a horse or magically settling onto the earth. Figures, Nommo, refer not only to the mythological ancestors but also to the lineage ancestors of the owner of the containers. Therefore it celebrates the gods while at the same time honoring the ancestors. Nommo are generally presented as paired figures, male and female (see the back of the container)

The use of figural containers such as this is difficult to determine. However, the encrusted patina indicates the piece has been receiving sacrifices and offerings. It also shows signs of extended use and wear through time. Similar vessels were kept in the lineage elder's house and used to store offerings to be given to ancestors during annual rites that take place during the winter solstice known as goru.

Recommended Reading:Griaule, M. Masques Dogon. 1963; DeMott, B. Dogon Masks.1979.Imperato, PJ.P., Dogon Cliff Dwellers. 1978; Ezra, K. Art of the Dogon. 1988.