Dogon Ceremonial Mortar
- Tribe: Dogon
- Origin: Mali
- Approx Age: Mid- later 20th Century
- Materials: Wood
- Dimensions cm: 39 tall x 27 Diameter
- Ref. Number: 0362
An unusual Dogon ceremonial mortar, not a usual millet mortar but more for ceremonial use by the Hogon for when blessing pieces, in doing this it consists of throwing wet millet on figures which are kept / being stored in his hut under his guard in a small room which only he is allowed and would use this for other ceremonial uses too.
This is a really nice piece consisting of male and female ancestor figures surrounding the bowl broken up with a row of 4 fertility signs of the Dogon (breast like curves / protrusions) and held up with a typical Dogon abstract leg structure.
Dogon social and religious organizations are closely interlinked and out of this arose principal cults, which accounts for the richness and diversity of Dogon culture and art. The clans are subdivided onto lineages, overseen by the patriarch, guardian of the clan’s ancestral shrine and officiant at the totemic animal cult. Beside this hierarchical system of consanguinity, male and female associations are entrusted with the initiations that take place by age group, corresponding to groups of newly circumcised or excised boys or girls. The Dogon believe these operations remove the female element from males and vice versa. Circumcision thus creates a wholly male or female person prepared to assume an adult role. The members of an age group owe one another assistance until the day they die. Initiation of boys begins after their circumcision, with the teaching of the myths annotated by drawings and paintings. The young boys will learn the place of humans in nature, society, and the universe. In the Dogon pantheon Amma appears as the original creator of all the forces of the universe and of his descendant Lebe, the god of plant rebirth. The first Dogon primordial ancestors, called Nommo, were bisexual water gods. They were created in heaven by the creator god Amma and descended from heaven to earth in an ark. The Nommo founded the eight Dogon lineages and introduced weaving, smithing, and agriculture to their human descendants.