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Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.


The Dogon ladders, carved from one tree trunk, were used to access the flat rooftops of homes and granaries. The flat roofs of typical Dogon homes served as storage and sleeping areas. Smaller versions of these utilitarian ladders were used to mark the entrance to shrines and sacred spaces.


1989, sold by Galerie Majestic, Paris, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart

African, Mali, Dogon peoples, 20th century

Object Place



Overall: 228 x 44 x 20 cm (89 3/4 x 17 5/16 x 7 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



Africa and Oceania


Architectural elements