Beautiful Dogon Ring – Knights – Mali
Bronze. Cm. 5,6 high (2.20″); Gr. 36,4 (1.28 oz.).
Metal works like this is molded in bronze by ‘the lost wax method’, also called ‘cire-perdue’. This kind of metal molding is made with a wax model and a mold made from a heat proof material, such as clay, in which the liquid metal is poured into through pipes and openings, and the wax is melted and drained away. The method is common on every continent exept Australia, and dates back to 3rd millenium BC and has sustained few changes since then.
The Dogon are an ethnic group living in the central plateau region of Mali, south of the Niger bend near the city of Bandiagara in the Mopti region.Certain researchers investigating the Dogon have reported that they seem topossess advanced astronomical knowledge. From 1931 to 1956 the Frenchanthropologist Marcel Griaule studied the Dogon. In late 1946 Griaule spent aconsecutive thirty-three days in conversations with the Dogon wisemanOgotemmêli, the source of much of Griaule and Dieterlen’s future publications(Dieu d’eau. Entretiens avec Ogotemmêli was published in 1948). They reportedthat the Dogon believe that the brightest star in the sky, Sirius (sigi tolo or“star of the Sigui”), has two companion stars, pō tolo (the Digitaria star),and ęmmę ya tolo, (the female Sorghum star), respectively the first and secondcompanions of Sirius A. Sirius, in the Dogon system, formed one of the foci forthe orbit of a tiny star, the companionate Digitaria star. When Digitaria isclosest to Sirius, that star brightens: when it is farthest from Sirius, itgives off a twinkling effect that suggests to the observer several stars. Theorbit cycle takes 50 years. They also claimed that the Dogon appeared to knowof the rings of Saturn, and the moons of Jupiter. The Dogon’s system revealsprecise knowledge of cosmological facts only known by the development of modernastronomy. The problem of knowing how, with no instruments at their disposal,men could know the movements and certain characteristics of virtually invisiblestars has not been settled.
Literature: DOGON by Hélène Leloup for the exhibition “Dogon” in 2012 at the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, page 375. Editions d’Art SOMOGY.
- Additional information