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Dogon Brass Seated Male on Base Mali African Art

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Title Dogon Brass Seated Male on Base Mali African Art
Type of Object brass Figure
Country of Origin Mali
People Dogon
Materials Brass or Copper alloy
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 9
Width (in) 3
Dimensions Height: 9 Inches
Width: 3 Inches
Overall Condition Fair
Damage/Repair severely tarnished, chips and minor casting flaws. Screws afixing figurine to base are visible.

Additional Information: A tradition of bronze cast figures is found among a number of different peoples of the Western Sudan including the Dogon, Bozo and the various groups of Burkina Faso. This well modeled miniature figure comes from Mali and was made by the Dogon . The sculpture is a bearded man sitting on a bench of two smaller figures. His staff suggests his significant status, perhaps as a linguist or wise-man.

Bronze, Brass and iron figures are identified with Dogon myths of creation, as the blacksmith was one of the first primordial beings known as Nommo created by Ama who is one of the major Dogon deities. The identity between the Nommo and the blacksmith creates a bond and an identity that gives the blacksmith special powers which include the ability to call down rain so important in Dogon life. Figures such as this would be placed in the Binu sanctuary, a sacred shelter where the Dogon keep objects of magical importance. This sculpture reflects the artistry, power, and authority of the Dogon blacksmith, as it was he who also carved the well-known wooden sculptures used by the Dogon.

Recommended Reading:

For more information on the Dogon, see Laude's AFRICAN ART OF THE DOGON