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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Jewelry : Dogon Bronze Ring of a Chameleon and a Crocodile
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Dogon Bronze Ring of a Chameleon and a Crocodile - FJ.6258
Origin: Mali
Circa: 1400 AD to 1600 AD

Collection: African
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
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West African peoples have long used chameleons on rings as symbols of protection. The chameleon is thought to have been, created, in primordial times, possessing supernatural powers of transformation, sorcery, and primal knowledge. They are the 'horses' ridden by bush spirits as they convey messages to the gods. This belief is no doubt related to the chameleon' s characteristic trait of changing color in order to adapt to its environment; and also its ability to look in two directions at once due to its cleverly constructed cone-shaped eye-sockets. On this fascinating ring the chameleon is somewhat abstract with a 'peaked' head, thick horizontal body and curled tail, standing next to a crocodile. The depiction of the 'passive' lizard dominating in size the 'aggressive' reptile is both charming and significant in representing the chameleon' s magical powers. - (FJ.6258)


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