Dogon door lock (Three quarters view)
MechanismDogon villageMaps

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Item : Dogon door lock, Picture : Three quarters view (approx. 18 Kbytes)

This door lock depicts in abstract way the primordial couple which gave birth to the four couples of nommo considered as being the eight ancestors of the mankind (Dogon myth of creation). The man and the woman are represented and symbolized by the antelope horns. The vertical beam is decorated with incised patterns which evoke the fields (terrestrial space and fertility) and the center of the universe. Therefore, these patterns are symbolizing water and fertility, and also the spiritual being nommo in water and rain. The truncated legs appear at the bottom of the lock, which becomes the body of the figures.
Wooden door locks were used on the doors of dwellings, cookhouses, sanctuaries, and on granary shutters. Each lock is given a name in accordance with its message, person, myth, or any anecdote referred to. Door locks were a prized gift for young brides, and passed down from generation to generation.
17th / 19th century.

Object #2926

Origin :

Mali (Bandiagara cliffs area)

Type :

Door locks

Ethnic group :


Material :

Fine aged granular patinated wood

Size :

H = 14.2 inches

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