African Art of the Dogon: The Myths of the Cliff Dwellers

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9780670109289: African Art of the Dogon: The Myths of the Cliff Dwellers
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The Dogon are an ethnic group living in the central plateau region of the country of Mali south of the Niger bend. The Dogon are best known for their religious traditions, their mask dances, wooden sculpture and their architecture. All of this has made Dogon country one of Mali's major tourist attractions. Dogon art is primarily sculpture that revolves around religious values, ideals, and freedoms. Dogon sculptures are not made to be seen publicly and are commonly hidden from the public eye. The importance of secrecy is due to the symbolic meaning behind the pieces and the process by which they are made. Themes found throughout Dogon sculpture consist of figures with raised arms, superimposed bearded figures, horsemen, stools with caryatids, women with children, figures covering their faces, women grinding pearl millet, women bearing vessels on their heads, donkeys bearing cups, musicians, dogs, quadruped-shaped troughs or benches, figures bending from the waist, mirror-images, aproned figures, and standing figures. They are unique in African art, but show similarities in the works of modern Western artists as diverse as Picasso, Modigliani, Giacommetti, and the German expressionists. How did this happen? In this book, Jean Laude, the distinguished French scholar, deals with this question and the entire problem of approaching the study of the art of so-called primitive societies by classifying the sculpture of the Dogon on the basis of technical, formal, thematic, and stylistic criteria, illustrating his text with photographs of the examples in the Lester Wunderman Collection, perhaps the finest and most complete assemblage of Dogon sculpture in private hands. By considering the works in the context of what little is known about Dogon history. Jean Laude enables us to understand the complexities of their symbolic content and function, as we appreciate the remarkable aesthetic quality that places them on the highest level of great sculpture of the world.

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Laude, Jean
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ISBN 10: 0670109282 ISBN 13: 9780670109289
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Jean Laude
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ISBN 10: 0670109282 ISBN 13: 9780670109289
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