african masksDogon-Tellem
Start ] Omhoog ] Nigeria ] Ijo ] Daima-Sao ] Nok ] Yoruba-Ife ] Edo-Benin ] Dogon ] Mali-Map ] Fon ] Urhobo ] Djenne-Mopti ] [ Dogon-Tellem ] Senufo ] Dowayos ] Bura ] Darfur ] Timbuktu Manuscripts ]

A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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Dogon Tellem

The Dogon inhabit the Bandiagara escarpment in Mali. Dogon sculpture is intimately linked with the cult of the ancestors. Figures are made to house the spirits of the deceased on the family shrine, 

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and masks are used to drive the spirits away at the end of the mourning period. One type of mask, called sirige, has a tall, flat projection above the face (a feature found also in the masks of the neighbouring Mossi and Bobo), which is said to represent a multistory house. The grat mask, never worn and made anew every 60 years, represents the primordial ancestor who met death while he was in the form of a serpent. Iron staffs topped with human figures are also made, and some personal ornaments are cast in brass.

Also found in Dogon territory are, possibly, the oldest wood sculptures to survive (three have been dated by carbon-14 to the 15th to 17th century AD). They were found in caves in the Bandiagara escarpment. The Dogon attribute them to an earlier population, the Tellem. These figures, usually of simplified and elongated form, often with hands raised, seem to be the prototype of the ancestor figures that the Dogon carve on the doors and locks of their houses and granaries; investigations have confirmed that the Tellem were ethnically a different people from the Dogon, though the art style appears to have been handed on from one people to the other.

Read another text about the Dogon and see also the Mali tribes map 

 

 

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In this section:
Start
Omhoog
Nigeria
Ijo
Daima-Sao
Nok
Yoruba-Ife
Edo-Benin
Dogon
Mali-Map
Fon
Urhobo
Djenne-Mopti
Dogon-Tellem
Senufo
Dowayos
Bura
Darfur
Timbuktu Manuscripts 

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The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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read also : Start ] Nigeria ] Ijo ] Daima-Sao ] Nok ] Yoruba-Ife ] Edo-Benin ] Dogon ] Mali-Map ] Fon ] Urhobo ] Djenne-Mopti ] [ Dogon-Tellem ] Senufo ] Dowayos ] Bura ] Darfur ] Timbuktu Manuscripts ]

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