The Dogon people of Mali, West Africa, have been much studied for their complex religious beliefs and their distinctive art – among the most sought after on the contemporary art market. They remain one of the few non-Islamic non-Christian cultures in West Africa and live in ancient cliff-dwellings. Among the traditional Dogon structures are men’s cult houses called Toguna. The thick, flat roofs are supported by dozens of Y-shaped posts with carvings often addressing fertility and other aspects of Dogon spiritual life. The posts can be decades, if not hundreds, of years old.

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