Dogon Village Healing Pot

A monumental piece of Dogon history, owned by the village healer to treat the sick with help from their ancestors.
Tribe: Dogon

Origin: Mali

Approx Age: Mid – Later 20th Century

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: 181 tall x 40 wide

Ref. Number: M0587


An exquisite and huge Dogon village healing pot collected from a village near Mopti. This beautiful piece of Dogon artistry stands at 181cm tall and 40cm wide at the base. This pot with the warrior on the lid is the village healing pot and is to treat the villagers who became sick with herbal medicines which were made within the pot and then given to the patient whilst calling upon the ancestors to help.


The pot starting at the base consists of a finely carved criss-cross design around the base, to which the first set of figures stand. The figures start with a seated primordial couple (male and female in arms), a female, male and another female seated together then two seated males together. On top of these is another disc with the same decoration as the base with 7 crouching male and female figures standing on it. Standing on the figures heads is another disc with decoration and on top are 6 snakes “Lebe” underneath and coming up the sides of the decorated bowl coming up to the 3 chameleon / frog? figures. Then we have the lid with the Dogon warrior on horseback and originally holding a spear which has sadly been lost at some point in its life. This pot is carved from one piece of wood up as far as the lid.

This is  a very rare find, for one, is the logistics of the piece from the remote village it was collected from, and two, is that even until this day items of such traditional value to the elders of the Dogon are items that they would rather not sell. The majority of the Dogon have now converted to the Islamic religion and these pots now have less value (traditionally)to the younger generation and as radical extremists are spreading through Dogon villages burning and destroying Dogon artefacts these items are now being allowed to be sold by the elders when possible rather than having them destroyed.

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