Dogon People, Mali: Seated group of eight hermaphroditic figures with alternating male and female attributes, carved with raised arms an upward stretched fingers, a gesture of praying for special gifts. The stool upon which they sit is supported is decorated with geometric designs, and held aloft by four additional Nomo figures.
If the meaning of this grouping is a prayer for marital success, the figures supporting the stool may be interpreted as children. The dense-wood carving has both smooth patina and evidence of the dried encrustation of libations. Estimated age is late 19th Century.