2008.2.23 (Body).JPG
2008.2.23 (Chest).JPG
2008.2.23 (Chimes).JPG
2008.2.23 (Legs).JPG
2008.2.23 (Prongs).JPG

Dublin Core




Staff with Tags


This is a sculpture. It is made of metal, most likely iron. It was made by the Dogon of Mali, Africa. There is a male figure atop the staff. The figure has two twists in his hair on each side of his head. His face is elongated with facial features like his nose accented. Across his chest are cross-hatches. There are no legs past the hips, and his body goes into the base of the staff. Four curved appendages come from under the body, curving up. From these curved arms are tags or bells hanging from the tips. Going down the length of the staff, there is a twist in the base. At the bottom are four prongs. The figure at the top is not identifiable but could be Nommo, who is the first being created by Amma, the creator god. There is little information on the use of the staff in Dogon culture. Since it is made of iron, the staff carries other religious symbology. Iron objects are frequently used by the Hogon, powerful religious figures in Dogon culture. The Hogon uses them to marshal the energies of the universe. To aid in its religious purposes, bells or talismans are hung from hooks to offer protection and summon ancestral spirits. Due to the prongs at the bottom, this staff was possibly stuck in the ground.


The Dogon


Martha and Robert Fogelman


Art Museum of the University of Memphis


ca, 19th/20th century


Neecole A. Gregory


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Metal, possibly cast iron