This impressively scaled (23.75" High) depiction of a vessel-bearing woman shows a traditional hair style and also a beard. Its estimated age is late 19th/ early 20th century.
Over centuries, the Dogon people of Mali in West Africa have developed a highly recognizable style of sculpture. Many of their figures illustrate their belief that all people are born with attributes of both sexes, and represent the hermaphroditic silhouettes of their ancestors, the Tellem.
Themes found throughout Dogon sculpture include bearded figures with male and female attributes, and women bearing vessels on their heads.
Dogon sculptures are not made to be seen publicly, and are commonly kept in the houses of families and in sanctuaries.
Condition: The heavy wood has desiccated with age, showing a slightly raised grain. It has an overall patina, traces of ritual libations, and also signs of handling.
Dogon African Hermaphroditic Sculpture