Dogon granary door lock (Front view)
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Item : Dogon granary door lock, Picture : Front view (approx. 16 Kbytes)

The pointed horn-like structures atop this lock could represent highly stylised nommo figures or the horns of the antelope (ka). The horns pointed at the bottom could symbolize the legs. This lock would have been used on the door of a binu sanctuary granary. The binu cult links the living to those early ancestors who are immortal. This lock is remarkable for its perfect symmetrical figures, its geometric and pure Dogon style.

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.

Probably 18th / 19th century.

Object #4343

Origin :

Mali (Ende area, Bandiagara cliffs)

Type :

Door locks

Ethnic group :


Material :

Wood, very age-old honey-colored patina from use

Size :

H = 15.5 inches

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