Arts of Africa
Among the Dogon, jewelry often serves as much more than personal adornment. For example, bracelets, rings, and necklaces might signify that the owner is linked to ancestors or spiritual leaders, or identify the wearer as a priest or a caretaker of a particular altar. The two seated figures on this necklace or collar most likely represent Nommo, the original beings created by the god Amma, who may be represented by the central face. The necklace was probably worn by a hogon, an important priest.
11th-15th century (?)
9 x 9 x 1 in. (22.9 x 22.9 x 2.5 cm)
Diameter: 9in. (22.9cm) (show scale)
Gift of Mrs. Jacob M. Kaplan
A brass necklace decorated with two seated Nommo figures. The arms and legs of the figures are serpentine like; the arms are both raised. Their heads are elongated. At the center of the necklace is another head. Sixteen small rectangular pendants are suspended from the front of the necklace. CONDITION: Generally good. One pendant is missing from its ring.
This item is not on view
Dogon. Necklace, 11th-15th century (?). Copper alloy, 9 x 9 x 1 in. (22.9 x 22.9 x 2.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Jacob M. Kaplan, 74.67. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 74.67_PS2.jpg)
overall, 74.67_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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Who are the Dogon?
The Dogon are a West African people living primarily in Mali. The Dogon are perhaps best known for their complex cosmology and retaining their traditional spirituality in a region that was largely converted to Islam.