Dogon door lock (Three quarters view)
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Item : Dogon door lock, Picture : Three quarters view (approx. 16 Kbytes)


This Dogon door lock (ta koguru) is surmounted by the horns of the walu antelope. These horns are finely carved with steps, like a Dogon ladder. The horns symbolize a couple of nommo ancestors in an abstract way. The particularity of this lock lies in the receptacle sculpted at the bottom. It was probably closed by a small shutter, and would have contained a totemic stone (dugo) that connect the granary owner to his immediate ancestor.

Wooden door locks (ta koguru) were used on the doors of dwellings, cookhouses, sanctuaries, and on granary shutters (see attached picture). They were a prized gift for young brides, and passed down from generation to generation. Each lock is given a name in accordance with its message, person, myth, or any anecdote referred to. The antelope protects by its symbolic strength the house against robbers, and generally wards off fate.
18th / 19th century.

Object #4333

Origin :

Mali (Kambari area, Bandiagara cliffs)

Type :

Door locks

Ethnic group :

Dogon

Material :

Wood with brown and weathered gray patina

Size :

H = 11.8 inches

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