Dogon Iron Figurine Mali
Tradition of bronze cast figures are found among a number of different peoples of the Western Central Africa including the Dogon, Bozo and the various groups of Burkina Faso. This well modeled miniature figure comes from Mali and was made by the Dogon . The sculpture is a bearded man kneeling to fire an arrow.
Bronze, Brass and iron figures are identified with Dogon myths of creation, as the blacksmith was one of the first primordial beings known as Nommo created by Ama who is one of the major Dogon deities. The identity between the Nommo and the blacksmith creates a bond and an identity that gives the blacksmith special powers which include the ability to call down rain so important in Dogon life. Figures such as this would be placed in the Binu sanctuary, a sacred shelter where the Dogon keep objects of magical importance. This sculpture reflects the artistry, power, and authority of the Dogon blacksmith, as it was he who also carved the well-known wooden sculptures used by the Dogon.
The Dogon people are an ethnic group who live in the central plateau region of Mali in West Africa. Dogon art is known for its distinctive style and is often characterized by intricate geometric patterns, stylized human and animal figures, and bold colors.
The Dogon people of Mali are among the oldest surviving African cultures despite the fact that throughout their existence more powerful neighbors have threatened them. For protection, until about 300 years ago the Dogon built their villages near or in the famous Bandiagara cliffs. They have thus been nicknamed the Hill, Cliff and Mountain people. Dogon art manifests in masks, architectural objects, statues and vessels.
The Dogon realize that they are not the first inhabitants of the land that they now occupy. Their myths, legends, traditions and art retain the memories of their predecessors. The Dogon people of Mali are known the world over for their creation of Dogon Doors.