African Cosmos: Stellar Arts
Photo: Photograph by Franko Khoury
In this stool, the Dogon people of Mali describe the cosmos as two disks forming the sky and earth connected by a tree. The supporting figures represent the founding ancestors in their descent from sky to earth. The zigzag patterns suggest the path of their descent, a reference to Lebe, the first human and priest who was transformed into a serpent after his death. The disk on top serves as an alter surface for libations.