Inventory no.: 1875

Brass Dogon Crouching Figure Ring, Mali


Rare Cast Brass Crouching Figure Binu Ring

Dogon, Mali

18th-19th centuries

height: 4.7cm, weight: 18g

This fine, rare ring of cast brass has a tall bezel finial in the form of a crouching figure with his hands raised to his ears. The ring itself is decorated with a plaited band.

The figure has sinuous limbs and a smooth, undecorated surface. Such figures are associated with jewellery worn by the

hogon and other Dogon priests. According to Ezra (1988, p. 109), the figure’s gesture of hands raised to the face suggests the possibility that the ring might have been used in conjunction with a binu altar, since it accords with a detailed account of the installation ceremony of a binu priest witnessed in 1937.

A similar Dogon form but as a large sculpture is illustrated in Bacquart (1998, p. 63). Ezra (1988, p. 109.)

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.


Bacquart, J. B., The Tribal Arts of Africa, Thames & Hudson, 1998.

Ezra, K.,

Art of the Dogon: Selections from the Lester Wunderman Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988.


Private Collection, Germany, acquired 1960-81

Inventory no.: 1875