Dogon granary door lock (Front view)
Teli granariesGranary, inside viewMechanismMaps

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Item : Dogon granary door lock, Picture : Front view (approx. 20 Kbytes)


This granary door lock (called ta koguru) is carved with a couple of nommo figures. These symbolize a strong magic and spiritual force. This force is then, according to beliefs' animists of Dogon, imparted to the door lock. In the Dogon myth of the creation of the Earth, the amma god bore a being figure known as nommo (the nommo anagonno, symbolized by a fish). This nommo gave birth to four couples of nommo, considered as the eight ancestors of the mankind (unum) and the four elements.

It was fitted on a shutter placed midway up the granary wall. It provided access, throughout the year following harvests, to the goods stored inside (millet, sorghum, rice, corn). The Dogon granaries are narrow, four-sided or round, with a structure made of wood and covered with cob, and generally a thatch roof or a terrace roof (see pictures).

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.
18th / 19th century.

Object #4362

Origin :

Mali (Teli area)

Type :

Door locks

Ethnic group :

Dogon

Material :

Wood, metal, dark aged patina

Size :

H = 7.6 inches

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