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Dogon Blacksmith/ "Hogon" Antique Status Emblem Iron Necklaces A and B
- Dogon Blacksmith/ "Hogon" Antique Status Emblem Iron Necklaces
- Approx. (A) 55" long, (B) 35" long
- From Mali, West Africa
- Dogon followers of the primordial ancestor Lébé Serou, the first Hogon or spiritual leader and wise elder, wear necklaces of iron and river stones to honor him. The egg-shaped stones, "Dougué Stone", symbolize the cosmic seed of creation and contain the bones of Lébé Serou worn smooth by his association with water. When the owner dies his necklace is hidden deep in the surrounding bush. His successor is called to the spot by the beckoning power of the stones to receive the spirit of Lébé.
- After enduring difficult childbirth, Bamana and Dogon mothers may wear an iron necklace with an amulet made from a miniature pair of blacksmith tongs. The analogy is drawn between the Blacksmith's fearless use of tongs when pulling glowing iron from his forge and a mother's courage through her "hot" ordeal.
- The Spiritual Leader, often the Blacksmith of a Village or a region is called a Hogon. The Hogon, because of his skills with transforming iron into other forms is considered to possess great magical powers and is often considered powerful Sorcerer who lives as a hermit in the higher parts of the Village, the part which is considered somewhat sacred. The Hogon treats illnesses, performs Divination and Fortune Telling and represents the overall spirituality of the Community The Hogon is surrounded by many taboos: they are not to be touched, and live apart from the Community Areas and Village.