Support Post (Toguna)

A work made of wood.

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  • A work made of wood.

Date:

Early/mid–20th century

Artist:

Dogon
Mali
Northern Africa and the Sahel

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

Culture

Dogon

Title

Support Post (Toguna)

Origin

Mali

Date

1900–1975

Medium

Wood

Dimensions

165.1 x 40.6 x 20.3 cm (65 x 16 x 8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman

Reference Number

2007.570

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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