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Part of the collection: Collection of Dogonian art

Popularization note

In the religion of the Dogon, apart from the essential cult of Amma - the creator god, there is the cult of wagem ancestors, awa masks, the cult commemorating mythical binu ancestors and the Lebe ancestor called lebe, embodying the forces of the earth and vegetation. A unique altar is dedicated to each of them, on which objects filled with nyama - the life force of the ancestors - are placed - wooden sculptures representing the ancestors, clay vessels and objects made of iron. Each Dogon family has its altar, called a wag, on which they commemorate deceased family members. Another group of altars can be found in the temples of the binu cult, on which ancestors from mythical times are worshipped. The Dogons also erect personal altars kutogolo for left-handed people, dedicated to their own heads ku and bala. Mention should also be made of andugu - altars that bring rain.Iron ornaments also played an important role in funeral rites, both for the Tellem, the indigenous people who inhabited the Bandiagara Escarpment before the arrival of the Dogon, and for the Dogon. During excavations carried out by the Dutch archaeologist Rogier M.A. Bedaux in the 1960s, numerous objects, including iron bracelets, were found in the burial caves of the Tellem culture. In the past, the Dogon also practised placing iron ornaments in the graves of their dead. However, the practice ceased due to frequent attacks of the Fulbe (a pastoral people living in the Sahel zone from Senegal to Cameroon), who desecrated and robbed the Dogon graves. Similar bracelets were worn by the Dogon men singly or in pairs on the forearm.

Katarzyna Findlik-Gawron

Information about the object

Information about this object

Author / creator



cały obiekt: height: 0,8 cm, width: 9,4 cm

Object type

body adornment

Creation time / dating

około 1940

Creation / finding place

powstanie: Mopti, region (Republika Mali); znalezienie: Republika Mali; region: Mopti; okręg: Bandiagara; wioska: Yaye

Identification number


Location / status

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