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Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Ancestor Figure

ca. 1200-1300

This hermaphrodite African sculpture, made during the pre-Dogon period before the 15th century, is thought to represent a mythic ancestor rather than a human being, as the latter would entail sexual differentiation. Figures of this type are still very present in Dogon iconography and mythology, where they figured in the initiation rites of adolescents. This one follows the tradition of the Djennenke style but is thought to have been produced in Mali by groups forced to take refuge in the cliffs of Bandiagara during the 11th century by the attack of Almoravid forces from Morocco.

Artwork Details

Title: Ancestor Figure
Geography: Bandiagara region, Mali
Date: ca. 1200-1300

Medium: wood

Classification: religious item
Dimensions: 76.2 x 11 x 21 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2011.031
Contact for images : images@louvreabudhabi.ae
Permalink : www.louvreabudhabi.ae/fr/Explore/Highlights-of-the-collection/ancestor-figure

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