Inventory no.: 1867

Bronze Dogoni Spiral Ring, West Africa


Cast Bronze Spiral Ring

Dogon People, Mali

18th-19th century

diameter of bezel: 3.5cm: weight: 24g

This fine ring has been cast with a bezel of five spirals, and a band cast with ridges.

The precise meaning of the circular motifs has several interpretations. Perhaps they represent shields. Van Cutsem (2000, p. 60) says that they represent marsh waterlilies that bloom after downpours of rain. Barmert (1980, p. 322) says that the spirals represent the perpetual expanse of the universe.

Both van Cutsem and Barmert illustrate similar examples.

The ring has substantial wear with softened contours, and a fine chocolate colour. It is marked to the inside of the ring with two old collection inventory numbers.


Barmert, A., Africa: Tribal Art of Forest and Savanna, Thames & Hudson, 1980.

van Cutsem, A.,

A World of Rings: Africa, Asia, America, Skira, 2000.


Private Collection, Germany, acquired 1960-81

Inventory no.: 1867

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