Dogon Stool M0570

  • Tribe: Dogon
  • Origin: Bamako Region, Mali
  • Approx Age: Mid - Later 20th Century
  • Materials: wood
  • Dimensions cm: 40 tall x 38 wide
  • Ref. Number: M0570

A mid – later 20th century Dogon stool, beautifully styled with the 8 primordial beings carved on the outside of the support legs.  This is a very comfortable stool to sit on and sturdy. The markings (carved incisions) all around the stool are very typical to this form of Dogon stool. There are a few chips and scuffs but this can only be expected as these are used on a daily basis.

Dogon Tabouret, Nommo

Wooden stools serve the Dogon people for everyday use. There are two distinct types. The simple, abstract ones like the one that we have here that is old and wonderfully eroded by time, use and exposure. The more complex ones are supported by figures. Dogon traditions describe the cosmos as two disks (the top of the stool and the base) forming the sky and earth connected by a tree, being stools with a central post. Those with a post in the middle are linked with Dogon mythology.

House of Gutemele, a Dogon house In Mali // photo by Ana Isabel Escriche

The zigzag patterns suggest the path of their descent and flowing water and refer to the symbol of Lébé, the first human and priest who was transformed into a serpent after his death. The disk on top serves as an altar surface for libations.
Dogon stools vary in complexity and design. Most often you will see Dogon stools with figures around the rim acting as supports between the upper and lower platforms. These figures generally represent Dogon ancestors referred to as “Nommo” and were generally reserved for people of high status in Dogon culture, like priests. The supporting figures on stools represent the founding ancestors in their descent from sky to earth. They were used as symbols of authority.

Africa |  Dogon door, Mali