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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Dogon Sculptures : Dogon Bronze Sculpture of a Standing Man
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Dogon Bronze Sculpture of a Standing Man - PF.5019
Origin: Southeastern Mali/Burkina Faso
Circa: 1100 AD to 1400 AD
Dimensions: 4.5" (11.4cm) high x 0.875" (2.2cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Bronze

Location: Great Britain
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Ritual imagery in the form of statues was the Dogon's direct link between themselves and their ancestors. A chief did not rule without the "assistance" and "consent" of his forbearers, who still played an active role in village life through the intermediary animist priests. This powerful sculpture probably represents an ancestral figure, seen in a hieratic (sacerdotal) pose, proud and reverential. His arms are vertical and parallel against the rectangular torso, turning at the elbow to form a V-shape with hands clasped just below the navel. The body is very long in comparison to the short legs; three vertical lines on the stomach represent scarification and are also aesthetically pleasing in conjunction with strips on the loincloth. He wears bracelets on the upper part of the arms, and thick anklets. A charming detail is the delineation of the feet, particularly the two great toes. The long beard gives him a venerable appearance, as does his beautiful eyes, which seem to be open and closed at the same time. Seeing such figures as this one it is no wonder Dogon chiefs and high ranking elders took such pride in owning them, and in the ancestors whom they represent. - (PF.5019)


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