Dogon Tellem

NIK 0106-22 

Dogon Tellem Equestrian Figure, Bandiagara region, Mali

This figure contains many symbolic messages. The horse, the rider and the outstretched arms partly symbolize the exalted status of the rider. However, the outstretched arms high above the head are a gesture seen everywhere in Dogon art where the most common interpretation is a prayer for rain.

The same gesture that invokes the sky to send rain down can also capture the movement that results in the second important component of a good harvest – seeds impregnated with the vitality of the ancestor ors and binu. “(Art of the Dogon: Selections from the Lester Wunderman Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988, p.59).

Age: Est. early 20th CENTURY.

Condition: Despite age and clear signs of residence in many weathers, this figure is in an exceptionally good condition and mounted on an elegant custom made base.

Measure: H: 34 (47), L: 64, W: 11 cm.

Provenance: The figure originates from a French collection and was admired at an exhibition at BRUNEAF in June 2006 from which the gallery acquired.

Literature: “Art of the Dogon. A private collection of Dogon material culture, 2012” by Jan Baptist Bedaux.

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