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Figure with Raised Arms (?)

Tellem civilization

Not on view

Later Dogon settlers who encountered Tellem works both appropriated the artifacts for their own altars and also took creative inspiration from them. The few examples of Tellem sculpture found undisturbed by researchers in the twentieth century range from highly abstract to naturalistic representations. Their distinctive gesture of raised arms has been interpreted as a prayer for rain. Such works accrued their thick organic surfaces over the course of successive applications of offerings such as millet porridge or the blood of sacrificial animals.

Figure with Raised Arms (?), Wood, organic materials, Tellem civilization

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Photo: Hughes Dubois