Dogon Bangle

Open-ended twisted iron design Dogon bangle.

Tribe: Dogon

Origin: Mali

Approx Age: Mid 20th Century

Materials: Iron

Dimensions cm: 6 (diameter) x 3 (diameter opening)

Ref. Number: 1312


Dogon bangle, open-ended bangle made from iron with the twisted style design. It has a scroll finishing at either side of the opening but is not very visible due to some age related rusting. The bangle is nicely shaped and a piece of work created by a Dogon blacksmith. Simple and effective shape and design.

Provenance: Ex Lampevelden Collection – Netherlands.


The Dogon are an ethnic group living in the central plateau region of Mali, in West Africa, south of the Niger bend, near the city of Bandiagara, in the Mopti region. The population numbers between 400,000 and 800,000.

Within the Dogon their jewellery is considered much more than just and item of body adornment. Often it is much more than that for example bracelets, bangles, rings and necklaces are known to signify that its owner may be linked with or to the ancestors or spiritual leader. It is also a way of identifing the weaer may be a priest or caretaker /keeper of a particular alter.

The metal workers of the Dogon people are famed for their extraordinary construction of distinctive jewelry items.  Dogon motifs include bearded figures, the sun and stars, snakes, rabbits and monkeys.The Dogon are known for their iron bracelets and adornments in general which are often made out of wrapped iron worn by the Hogon, the spiritual leader of the Dogon community. These adornments primarily had a ritual meaning. These bracelets were also used as fetishes, objects believed to have supernatural powers and therefore could protect the wearer hence it is an item of jewellery often worn by the hunters within the village.

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