standing male figure playing a small xylophone-like instrument held at his stomach; man's hair styled in rows of braids; man wears a necklace or collar; small facial features

Male figure, 17th-18th century

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This musician has been playing his xylophone for more than 250 years. Among the oldest woodcarvings in these galleries, it was created by the Dogon people from Mali, who have a very old art tradition. Its dry surface and lack of a thick crust of offerings suggest that it was not used as an altarpiece, as many Dogon figures are. Instead, it was probably made as a reference to migrations long ago, when the ancestors of the Dogon left the Mali Empire around the 14th century.

Details
Title
Male figure
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2011.72
Curator Approved

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standing male figure playing a small xylophone-like instrument held at his stomach; man's hair styled in rows of braids; man wears a necklace or collar; small facial features