Standing female figure


Master of Ogol

Dogon peoples
late 19th century
more object details

General Description

This sculpture is one of seventeen standing female figures attributed to the Master of Ogol, an artist who worked in villages located on the Bandiagara Escarpment. Standing on slightly bent legs, each figure has a bullet-shaped head under a crested arrow-shaped "catfish" coiffure ending in a long braid at the back. The face has holes for eyes and a nose with broad nostrils parallel to the equally wide lips. Beneath a prominent chin is a long labret, an ornament worn in a perforation of the lip. The arms are held away from the elongated torso and bent at the elbow, with the hands placed at either side of the abdomen. Most figures have perforated ears for earrings and wear bracelets on the arms, just above the elbows.

The function of these figures, which are said to represent the first female ancestor, is not precisely known. They are placed on altars kept by women and used in both fertility and mortuary rituals.

Excerpt from

  • Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.