Lot 6
  • 6

Dogon Tintam Female Figure, Mali, ca. late 17th or early 18th century

40,000 - 60,000 USD
35,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • wood


Alan Brandt, New York
Private Collection, USA, acquired from the above
Lisa Bradley, New York, acquired from the above
Myron Kunin, Minneapolis, acquired from the above on March 21, 2005

Catalogue Note

At the northernmost end of the Bandiagara Escarpment is the Bondum region, one of the most remote and inaccessible areas of Dogon country. In her 1994 classification of Dogon art, Hélène Leloup identifies a sculptural style from this region which she names Tintam, for the main village of Bondum. The stylistic hallmarks of the style, which is quite close to pre-Dogon Djennenke sculpture, include a close-cropped cap-like "bowl" coiffure, heavy, rounded bodies, and the absence of any represented clothing except in some cases loincloths, jewelry, or Muslim-inspired amulets.  The present finely-carved female figure is a particularly elegant example of this archaic style.  See  Leloup (2011: 134) for a related figure in a Belgian private collection, with an approximate date of 15th-17th centuries obtained by radiocarbon testing.

The upraised arm, the four fingers folded over the palm, is a guesture of prayer, and as Leloup (2011: 258) explains, "implores the benevolent spirits to release the rain."

The figure is accompanied by a copy of a Radiocarbon Calibration Report from Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, issued September 23, 2004, stating that a sample taken from the figure dates to 295 years before the date of testing, plus or minus 30 years.