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Dublin Core




Equestrian Staff


This is a sculpture. It is made of metal, likely iron. It was made by either the Bamana or Dogon people of Mali, Africa. This is a staff. There is a rider mounted on a horse. Down the rod of the staff is a hook. Under the hook are two beads in the rod. The image of the mounted warrior has associations with the Hogon, who are holy figures within Mali that are rich and powerful. Horses also have prominent spots in Dogon religions, mythologies, and creation myths. Horses are also a status symbol, as only the wealthy could afford them. The hook on this staff would hold amulets, talismans, and bells for protection or to summon the ancestors. The staff would have been mounted in an altar, instead of being used for walking or herding. Many iron objects are used by Hogon, to marshal the energies of the universe for the benefit of his community. It can be assumed iron staffs would serve the same purposes.


The Dogon


Martha and Robert Fogelman


The Art Museum at the University of Memphis


ca. 19th/20th century


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Metal, cast iron