Dogon Iron Ginna Figure

Dogon iron Ginna figures like these were kept next to altars within the Ginna of a Dogon village.

Tribe: Dogon

Origin: Mali

Approx Age: Early 20th Century

Materials: Iron

Dimensions cm: 8 tall

Ref. Number: 1326


An expressive Dogon iron Ginna figure, no facial features are shown on this piece, curved arms and legs. A very aged iron piece, collected by a Dutch collector in the 1970’s who was working in Dogon villages fitting irrigation systems for them.

Provenance: Ex Lampevelden Collection, Netherlands.



Small Dogon iron figures were normally placed upright near or next to the alter of the Ginna, the Ginna is the large family house of the village (Gina Na or Gina Da). These forged iron figures exhibit the technical skill and artistry that Dogon blacksmiths brought to their work. They would do the smelting to get the iron from iron ore, then heat and hammer out both the tools and weapons used and the important ritual objects.

Dogon art is primarily sculpture. Dogon art revolves around religious values, ideals, and freedoms. Dogon sculptures are not made to be seen publicly, and are commonly hidden from the public eye within the houses of families, sanctuaries, or kept with the Hogon . The importance of secrecy is due to the symbolic meaning behind the pieces and the process by which they are made.


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