About this artwork
At least one togu na (meaning “great shelter”) can be found in every Dogon village, functioning as a meeting place for the male elders of the community. The togu na is an open structure consisting of a thatched roof supported by a series of vertical posts. The posts, such as this one, are generally carved to depict females or, as is the case here, males that, through the representation of exaggerated genitalia, symbolize fertility and therefore the future of Dogon society. This post, like most, is about five and a half feet tall, and the low-hanging roof would typically require the men to sit when inside. This important architectural element therefore embodies the values of secrecy, community, and shelter that are important to Dogon culture.
—Permanent Collection Object Description
Currently Off View
- Arts of Africa
- Support Post (Toguna)
- 165.1 x 40.6 x 20.3 cm (65 x 16 x 8 in.)
- Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman