Dogon Figural Staff or Post Mali
A figural staff or post from the Dogon who live at the base of the Bandiagara escarpment near the Niger River in Mali. This finely carved object could have been carried by a man known as Yo Domolo, a ‚Äòritual thief' who was responsible for stealing (acquiring) the various animals needed for the complex funerary rituals so well known among the Dogon. It may have also been used by the blacksmith as an indication of his status among the Dogon.
Among the Dogon art and mythology are often the same, sharing visual images whether carved, spoken or danced during their rituals. Amma, the Dogon Creator God, originally created humans known as Nommo, who were divided into four pairs, male and female, who magically settled onto the earth. Two pair of Nommo are carved into the crook, one pair at the top, a female seated at the front a male close to the handle and another close to the top. Integral to Dogon myth and art Nommo represent various aspects of the creation myth referring not only to the mythological ancestors but also to one's lineage as well as one's own ancestors going back into the mist of time. Therefore it celebrates the gods while at the same time honoring the ancestors. Dogon art is some of the best known and collected of all African art and old examples are rarely seen today. This old carving would hold a prominent place in a collection.