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Way In

The power of Dogū

 

WIstatues.jpg

These mysterious clay figures from prehistoric Japan come in many shapes and sizes. Anything up to a metre high, some seem to pray, some squat - perhaps in childbirth - some apparently wear masks. Some have triangular heads, others have heart-shaped faces. Many appear to have been deliberately broken and scattered. But what precisely they were for - objects of worship, good luck charms or escorts for the dead - no one really seems to know.

Exhibition at the British Museum from 22 November, entrance free.