Lot: 74

92nd Tribal Art Auction

Container with horse head

Mali, Dogon

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Gottfried Künzi, Oberdorf / Solothurn Switzerland (1969)
René Rickli, Olten, Switzerland
L: 23.2 inch sold

wood, Containers with horses' heads have been interpreted as representations of the "mythic ark". The ark sent by "amma", the Creator, was guided by "nommo", the primordial being who monitors purity and order in the universe. When the ark landed on the earth, "nommo" was transformed initially into a horse that pulled the ark along to water. The shape of the present container is interpreted as an allusion to this legend. The carved human figures represent the ancestors who traveled to earth in the ark.

Ezra, Kate, Art of the Dogon, New York 1988, p. 101