Dogon Hunters Tunic and Hat
- Tribe: Dogon
- Origin: Mali
- Approx Age: Approximately 1980 - 82
- Materials: Material, mirrors, bird feet, monkey skulls, bones, tails
- Dimensions cm: Approximately 100 long x 70ish wide
- Ref. Number: M0576
A fantastic and authentic Dogon hunters tunic and hat, covered in an array of trophy’s and objects of protection (animal skulls, bird feet, mirrors and bones etc). This garment, shirt, or tunic were worn by Dogon men for protection in the forest, from both wild animals and dangerous spirits. A successful hunter must not only be master of the forest and wild animals, but must also have the spiritual power necessary to negotiate the dangerous supernatural realm.
They are often embellished with small objects, animal horns, mirrors, jewellery, and leather pouches, that provide the “spiritual armour” necessary to protect the hunter from both real and spirit force. This garment and hat has been vetted as authentic, with evidence of extensive use. This has been made / designed very well, underneath the arms it looks to be slit but is is designed this way to enable an air flow as it is all stitched properly.
Culture and religion
The blind Dogon elder Ogotemmêli taught the main symbols of the Dogon religion to the French anthropologist Marcel Griaule in October 1946. Griaule had lived amongst the Dogon people for fifteen years before this meeting with Ogotemmêli had taken place. Ogotemmêli taught Griaule the religious stories in the same way that Ogotemmêli had learned them from his father and grandfather; instruction which he had learned over the course of more than twenty years. What makes the record so important from a historical perspective is that the Dogon people were still living in their oral culture at the time their religion was recorded. They were one of the last people in Africa to lose their independence and come under French rule.
The Dogon people with whom the French anthropologists Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen worked with during the 1930s and 40s had a system of signs which ran into the thousands, including “their own systems of astronomy and calendrical measurements, methods of calculation and extensive anatomical and physiological knowledge, as well as a systematic pharmacopoeia.” The religion embraced many aspects of nature, which some researchers associate with an African Traditional Religion.