Dogon tribe, Mali, Early 20th century
25"H X 8.5"W X 1"D
The Dogon live in some of the harshest, most inhospitable landscapes in the world--and yet possess some of the most sophisticated skills of any tribal people. For example, they devised sophisticated means of both reading and navigating celestial bodies long before people in the Western world. Another area of great skill and expertise is in their wood carving: ladders, sculptures, masks, and everyday objects like this washboard. The simple beauty, texture and soul of this piece fills us with tenderness–-as we imagine Dogon women by a stream toiling in their tough, arid surroundings and washing clothes with the help of this beautiful tool.