Dublin Core




Pregnant Rider


This is a sculpture. It is made of metal, possibly iron. It was made by the Dogon of Mali, Africa. A figure is mounted atop a saddled and bridled horse. Their legs are pulled up and pressed hard against the sides of the horse. They rest their arms around their stomach, highlighting their protruding navel. It is unclear if they are clothed. Their facial features are elongated, and they have a tight bun atop their head. Within this small piece alone are many symbols of Dogon spirituality. The figure is mounted on the horse which is important as the horse is strongly linked to Dogon creation stories. The horse was thought to be the first creature to exist on Earth. It carried one of the twins of Nommo, one of eight primordial twins created by Amma, the creator god. Additionally, it is most likely that this piece of sculpture was used by women to pray for fertility. The androgynous nature of the figure shows a union between female and male, which the Dogon believe plays a role in fertility. The way the figure encircles their stomach with their arm hints towards pregnancy they can bring.


The Dogon


Martha and Robert Fogelman


Art Museum of the University of Memphis


ca. 15th/19th century


Neecole A. Gregory


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Metal, casting