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Portrait of Sogolon, Mother of Sundiata, Founder of the Empire of Mali

African Art

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Portrait of Sogolon, Mother of Sundiata, Founder of the Empire of Mali

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Djenné Artist, Mali

Date

thirteenth–sixteenth century

Medium

Terra-cotta

Accession #

2011.159

Dimensions

9 1/2 x 5 x 5 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 410

Description

This torso, from the region of the ancient city of Djenné, depicts Sogolon, mother of Sundiata Keita (ca. 1217–1255 CE), founder of the Mali Empire. Sogolon was a real woman immortalized in the Epic of Sundiata. Over time, myth imbued her with supernatural abilities, including invincibility and the ability to transform herself into a buffalo-woman.

Credit

Purchase with Fred and Rita Richman Special Initiatives Endowment Fund for African Art

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