240673 - Extremely Rare Antique African Dogon Altar - Ireli town - Mali


Mali: Extremely Rare and Antique African Dogon Altar from the town Ireli in Mali.
Gathered in Ireli, a village in the Bandiagara Cliff in the Bandiagara Cercle - Crispy patina.

Hand carved from a single piece of wood and more then 100 years old.

Height: 50 cm.

This Dogon altar was collected begin 20th century and purchased in my private collection in 1997, now with a certificate of authenticity.
Sprinkled with millet porridge.
Offerings of millet porridge (millet is the primary crop of the Dogon) are made at the Binu shrines during planting and when the intercession of the immortal ancestor is desired. Through such rituals, the Dogon believe that the benevolent power of the ancestor is transferred to them.
Dogon sculpture emphasizes angularity and rectilinear form: the Dogon artist who carved this altar group reduced his subject to a series of simple, geometric elements. Arms and legs are weakened columns, broken by sharp angles at the elbows and knees, while pointed cones replace the breasts and protruding stomachs. Wedge-shaped heads exhibit stylized, angular features and thin, cylindrical ornaments that cascade down from the lower lip. Compositionally, the work shows a refined interplay of heavy masses and delicate openwork. Conjoined heads and torsos radiate from the central core, forming solid bodies that appear to float above graceful passages of empty space, bounded by the slender lines of the limbs and facial ornaments.