Dogon Wood Headrest Mali
The tradition of bronze cast figures is found among several different peoples of Western central Africa including the Dogon, Bozo, and the various groups of Burkina Faso.
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's life. Figures such as this would be placed in the Binu sanctuary, a sacred shelter where the Dogon keeps 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.