Sculpture of a Seated Man (1) - Wood, liniment - Nommo - Dogon - Mali

Sculpture of a Seated Man (1) - Wood, liniment - Nommo - Dogon - Mali
Mid 20th century

The statue is in great condition for its age and is encrusted with dark dried up berry juice and dust stuck to it. Berry juice was poured over the statue during rituals.
This fascinating representation of a seated male holds his phallus in his left hand and a similar looking device in his right. The elongated forms of the body and angular beard are characteristic of the Wakara style. He wears two armbands and two bracelets. A decorative incised band fills the edge of the seat. Stylistically, the composition of this sculpture is related to images of the spiritual leader, called the Hogon. However, this sculpture is more likely the depiction of a circumciser. He was responsible for performing the crucial rite in ceremonies that initiate young males into manhood. After this man died, he was memorialized in this statue so that the strength of his spirit could benefit his descendents. While this sculpture is in confrontation with discreet Westernized tastes, no doubt to the Dogon it signified the power and importance of the person it represents.

Lot details
Total nr of items
Sculpture of a Seated Man
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Wood, liniment
Mid 20th century
Sold with stand
45×12×12 cm
6 kg
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