Lot: 96

95th Tribal Art Auction

Lid of a ritual vessel with equestrian figure

Mali, Dogon, N' Duleri

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Knud Nielsen, Jelling, Denmark H: 18.7 inch 4000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, pigments, rest., base This elegant equestrian figure crowns a lid that once decorated a ritual "hogon" container. These vessels were filled with rice and other food distributed during the investiture ceremony of the "hogon". The image of the rider is associated with the authority figure of the "hogon", who is considered the religious and political leader of the Dogon community. "Hogon" are the high priests of the cult of "lebe", the first Dogon ancestor to die, whose body was miraculously transformed into a snake after his death. Associated with regeneration and renewal, the cult is charged with maintaining the earth's fertility and ensuring the protection and well-being of Dogon society. The horse supporting the bowl references the Dogon creation story, when the mythic being "nommo" (the bringer of civilization) transformed into a horse to carry to earth an ark holding the eight primordial ancestors.

Leloup, Hélène, Dogon, Bonn/ Paris 2011, p. 312, ill. 68 Compare AHDRC 0163480