Miniature Ladders, Dogon, Mali.
Large Dogon ladders serve the utilitarian purpose of allowing people to get to their home or granaries. While these miniature ladders closely replicate the large ones, they serve a purely spiritual purpose. Represents the ladder the soul must climb in the after-life to join its ancestors in the spirit world. In a secluded part of the house an altar is maintained with small statues, and most importantly, a small clay jar in which resides the soul of the family's head. The tiny ladder lies against the jar and will serve, upon the decease of its owner, to enable his soul to climb to the hereafter and join his ancestors . These miniature ladders are hardly ever handled and are never outside, but instead are often covered with sacrificial material.
Wood, thick encrusted patina from offering, min. dam., cracks, signs of abrasion, on metal base.
Height without base: 39 cm - 15.4 inches / 17,5 cm - 6.9 inches.
Provenance: Peter Monteny, photographer, Delft, Netherlands.