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Female Figure Standing with Arms Raised

Arts of Africa

The religious beliefs of the Dogon focus primarily on the spirits of ancestors, who are the intermediaries between the living and the forces of the universe. The deceased ancestors of one’s own clan or lineage are remembered and petitioned on altars.

This figure’s posture of up-stretched arms, with the left hand open and the fingers of the right hand closed, is a common Dogon motif that is often interpreted as a prayer for rain. Here it seems more likely to represent supplication to the ancestors.
CULTURE Dogon
MEDIUM Wood
DATES 16th to 19th century
DIMENSIONS without separate base: 47 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 8 11/16 in. (121.3 x 18.4 x 22 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 2011.4.5
CREDIT LINE Collection of Beatrice Riese
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Dogon. Female Figure Standing with Arms Raised, 16th to 19th century. Wood, without separate base: 47 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 8 11/16 in. (121.3 x 18.4 x 22 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Collection of Beatrice Riese, 2011.4.5. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2011.4.5_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2011.4.5_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Female figure with arms raised above head, body and facial scarification. Carved necklace and bracelets. Object heavily weathered. Overall condition good. Attached to large block base.
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Dogon. <em>Female Figure Standing with Arms Raised</em>, 16th to 19th century. Wood, without separate base: 47 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 8 11/16 in. (121.3 x 18.4 x 22 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Collection of Beatrice Riese, 2011.4.5. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2011.4.5_PS2.jpg)