Hermaphrodite Figure

Dogon peoples, Mali

Wood

Anonymous gift

4.25 x 22 x 4.25 in

The hermaphrodite with both male and female attributes is one of
many enigmatic themes in Dogon iconography that have produced contradictory interpretations by scholars. Those who would read art as a direct translation of myth would say that the figure represents one of the eight Nommo, primordial aquatic beings, who brought forth humankind. Others might argue for a more direct social message that within every human being exists a balance of male and female qualities and attributes.

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