This exquisite sculpture was created in bronze by the Dogon People of Mali using the traditional “lost wax” method of metal casting. The object signifies Dogon ancestors being ushered into their next life, as spiritual beings. An oarsman guides a crocodile boat, while in the middle the primordial couple stand with companions. Finally, a second oarsman restrains the waters as the transfer into the afterlife is realized. The boat rests upon turquoise beads which surround it like turbulent swirls of water. Together, the boat with its passengers are symbolic of an important undertaking—a journey, both physical and metaphysical. The sky is curved into an ominous arc with long dancing shadows, yet the crocodile boat faces the darkness and sails bravely on, into the unknown.