Dogon Marriage Ceremony Statue

A lovely Dogon marriage ceremony statue with a real presence with its size and the beauty of the carving.

Tribe: Dogon

Origin: Mali

Approx Age: 1960-70

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: 96 tall x 51 wide x 19 depth

Ref. Number: M0527


A very rare Dogon marriage ceremony statue in fantastic condition. This is a very heavy piece of wood which has been carved very skill-fully, with an encrusted patina from the libations it was covered in during the wedding ceremony. Each one of the figures is an iron ring through the nose and each of the two males has its arm positioned around the female and touching the breast. Down either side of the outer figures is a typical Dogon zig zag design which is quite difficult to see at a first glance. The female figure on the outer left as you look at it has sustained damage to her right breast and looks to have happened a long time ago. This figure / statue does stand well on its own.


These large statues are carved for the bride and groom to be, and are bought out at the wedding ceremony to stand proud whilst the ceremony is in progress, and to which libations are poured over the figure at the beginning of this ritual.  After the ceremony these are taken home by the by the newly weds, cherished and even prayed over for a great future and harmony together. These statues are also called upon and questioned upon when there is a problem within the marital home.

Dogon – Marriage and Family
Marriage. Monogamy is the major form of marriage, although non sororal polygyny with a limit of two wives is permitted. First marriages are generally arranged by parents; within certain limitations, those marrying for the second or third time are more free to choose their partners. Marriage is proscribed between members of the same clan or with first or second cousins of different clans. Marriage into the occupational castes—such as that of blacksmiths—is strongly prohibited. Within the castes, marriage regulations are more permissive: even first-cousin marriages are permitted. Prior to the birth of the first child, the wife lives at the home of her parents, while her husband continues to reside in the bachelor quarters where he has lived from the age of 8 to 10. Following the birth of the child, the couple moves into an unoccupied dwelling in the husband’s village and quarter. Divorce is not uncommon; it occurs most often in polygynous households. When a woman leaves her husband, she takes with her only the youngest child—the remaining children stay with the husband’s family.


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