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

This granary door lock is surmounted by a single human-like figure, probably a nommo ancestor, or andoumboulou (the first occupiers of the Bandiagara cliffs). The appearance of only one nommo (as here) is rather rare. This lock is coming from the deserted Tellem village of Yougo Dogorou, cave dwellers settlement in the cliffs. These caves and deserted old granaries are considered as sacred places by the Dogon themselves (see attached pictures).
This wooden door lock was probably used on a granary shutter. Like the majority of wooden sculptures, door locks were traditionally sculpted by blacksmiths. They belong to a caste of highest rank, they are at the same time Masters of fire (work of metal), and carve the major part of wooden objects. 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.
This lock has been identified by a Dogon blacksmith as the work of a Tellem artist.
14th / 15th century.

Object #4327

Origin :

Mali (Yougo Dogorou village)

Type :

Door locks

Ethnic group :

Tellem / Dogon

Material :

Natural blond-colored wood, metal, aged patina

Size :

H = 9.7 inches

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