Dogon Heddle Pulley, wooden sculpture
6″ Dogon Heddle Pulley, mid-20th century, detailed carving, fine condition.
The decorative features of West African heddle pulleys — devices that hold the heddles in looms — are created solely for aesthetic satisfaction, and have no ritual or magical purpose. The delicately carved figure on the pulley peers down at the weaver as he works and becomes his constant visual companion. The formal composition of these small pieces shows great virtuosity and variation: the artists strive for originality, ingenuity, elegance, and imaginative effects.