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Female Figure

Arts of Africa

Figures like this one were placed on ancestral altars as links to a deceased person’s soul. It is likely that this figure represents a Nommo, one of the first created beings, who, according to Dogon mythology, had a combination of male and female traits.
MEDIUM Diospyros wood, organic material
DATES early 17th century (probably)
DIMENSIONS 15 3/4 x 2 7/8 x 3 in. (40.0 x 7.3 x 7.8 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE The Adolph and Esther D. Gottlieb Collection
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Male figure. Head with pronounced sagittal crest, four incised hair locks, either side of ears, extending to shoulders. Facial features slightly defined; round eyes, arrow shaped nose, pointed chin or beard. Bulbous, pointed breasts, possibly exaggerated shoulders. Arms extend straight down from shoulders, hands placed at each side of men's genitals; pointed prtruding navel. Rounded protruding buttocks with thick cylindrical legs ending in blocky feet. CONDITION: Crack on right side of head, left wrist, buttocks.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Dogon. Female Figure, early 17th century (probably). Diospyros wood, organic material, 15 3/4 x 2 7/8 x 3 in. (40.0 x 7.3 x 7.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, The Adolph and Esther D. Gottlieb Collection, 1989.51.45. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1989.51.45_PS1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1989.51.45_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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