Kutsenkov P. A. New data on the traditional art of the Dogon on the basis of fieldwork in 2015–2019

Petr A. Kutsenkov — PhD in History of Art, Doctor of Sciences in Culturology, Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies RAS (Russia, Moscow) 
E-mail: pkutsenkov@gmail.com

 

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УДК 74(66)
DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2019-4(6)-35-42

 

ABSTRACT. The expedition of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) to the Highlands of Bandiagara (Plateau Dogon) in the Mopti Region of the Republic of Mali began its work in February 2015. Darya V. Vanyukova (State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow) and Nika V. Lavrentyeva (Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow) took part in it in 2017 and 2018. In five years, we collected a rather impressive collection of objects of the old and modern traditional Dogon art (which have already been partly transferred to the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), to the State Museum of Oriental Art and to the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts). The first thing that strikes in the Highlands of Bandiagara (Plateau Dogon) is the discrepancy between the image of the Dogon visual art that exists in ethnological and art literature, and the actual situation: the differences among Dogon figures were as great as the differences between a Dogon figure and a Bambara piece from somewhere in Beledougou. There were also cases when, without information provided by informants, we could not attribute a sculpture to any particular ethnic group. These observations inevitably lead us to the conclusion that existing ideas about West African art need, at least, a serious revision.

 

 

KEYWORDS: Dogon, traditional arts, Mali, field research

 

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