Bamana door lock (Front view)
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Item : Bamana door lock, Picture : Front view (approx. 18 Kbytes)


This very fine door lock depicts a male figure. The face and the crested coiffure (bambada) are illustrated in a very abstract way (see attached pictures). The head is represented by a striking triangular form with a concave face and a prominent ridge forming the bridge of the nose. The body is incised with various geometrical patterns symbolizing the fertility, and the breast appears (symbol of the protective spirit). The goitre figuration symbolizes the word. 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.

Probably 19th century.

Object #5241

Origin :

Mali (Bougouni area)

Type :

Door locks

Ethnic group :

Bamana (Bambara)

Material :

Wood, very fine aged patina

Size :

H = 16.3 inches

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