Bafoulabé Dogon Figure
Country: Dogon Country, Mali.
Material: bronze alloy
The Dogon are especially known for their religious traditions, mask dances, wooden sculpture and architecture.
If there is a technique that can characterize the work of metals and especially bronze, it is that of lost wax .
This procedure for manufacturing small, and not so small, bronze sculptures has been practiced in almost all of Africa, mainly in coastal areas because it is easier to obtain raw materials.
The artist sculpts or works a small figure in wax until the desired shape is achieved. At the top, several wax ducts are fixed; The artist covers the interior and exterior with wet refractory clay or mud and ensures that the external layer is thicker, to give greater solidity to the whole. It is left to dry in the sun or in an oven, depending on the greater or lesser degree of technique achieved by the artist. When it has dried well, the piece is heated to melt the wax and a vacuum remains in which the molten metal is introduced. The metal extends until it fills all the recesses of the mold. Two holes are made, one through which the bronze or molten metal is poured and another through which the wax escapes, which will be covered at the appropriate time, then allowing the mold to cool. Once cold, the mold is broken and the figure obtained will be finished with a chisel or other incisive instruments, achieving figures as special as those we have in Sankore.
*All products are made by hand so there may be some variation in shape and size.