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Dogon (Dogo, Habbé, Kado, Kibisi, Tombo), Mali & Burkina Faso

Ceremonial Trough (Ark of the World). The Dogon are among African cultures that have remained closest to their ancestral traditions. Their art is extremely versatile and individualistic, although common stylistic characteristics – such as a tendency towards stylization – are apparent on the statues. This ancestors’ dish or Ark of the world represents the Ark (trough) in which Nommo, the father of humankind, and the various gods of the Dogon pantheon came down to earth. The carved figures correspond to eight founding ancestors. The handles of the dish recall the horses, Nommo’s incarnation after the Ark had reached the earth. The ceremonial vessels of this kind were kept hidden away and taken out for the winter solstice ceremony, which brought together all the family’s blood relatives. The meat cut from sacrificed donkey and sheep was placed in the dish before being shared out.

Material: wood (two parts)

Size: 8”x22˝”x4”