Dogon Aduno Koro Ritual Vessel

This elaborately carved, monumental container was used to hold food consumed during the investment rituals of Dogon religious and political leaders known as hogon.
Tribe: Dogon

Origin: Mali

Approx Age: Mid – later

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: 95 long x 41 tall x 33 wide

Ref. Number: M0567

£1800.00
Description:

A beautiful and large Dogon Aduno Koro ritual vessel was collected from a village North of Mopti.  This zoomorphic container depicts a horse and has the 8 primordial beings carved into its sides (4 aside) with a turtle in the centre on both sides. and has a Hogon figure lying down on the lid. I believe the lid, even though it fits very well, could have been made at a different time or as a replacement for a broken original one as this is common. This has had a few knocks, chips and age cracks from extensive use and age, and has a lovely partial encrusted patina from what it is used for.

History

This elaborately carved monumental container was used to hold food consumed during the investment rituals of Dogon religious and political leaders known as Hogon. Hogon are the high priests of the cult of Lebe, the first Dogon ancestor to die, whose body was miraculously transformed into a snake after his death. Associated with regeneration and renewal, the cult is charged with maintaining the earth’s fertility and ensuring the protection and well-being of Dogon society.

The vessel’s large size and visual elaboration will indicate the Hogon’s importance within the life of a Dogon community. Its complex iconography can be interpreted using Dogon accounts of cosmology recorded in the early twentieth century. At the apex of the vessel, a heroic equestrian figure represents the Hogon. The horse is a traditional indication of wealth, prestige, and social dominance, but in this context, it also suggests the Hogon’s symbolic place within the Dogon cosmic order. It equates the Hogon with Nommo, the mythic being that transformed itself into a horse to convey an ark carrying the eight primordial ancestors to earth. Two equine forms that support the container reinforce the hogon’s connection to this moment in creation.

This was kept in the house of a lineage head in a Dogon community. It was used during an annual ritual known as “Goru” to hold the offerings dedicated to Amma the Creator and the ancestors. Performed at the time of the winter solstice, the ceremony represents the culmination of rituals that celebrate the all-important millet harvest, whose abundance will support the family in the coming year.

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