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


This lock was intended to represent the swallow (nanalékou), and to protect against sorcerers. However, it could also symbolize the hornbill, associated with the rainy season and the fertility of growing. A characteristic feature of the Malinke door locks, the triangular head sits atop a stylized rectangular neck, and the terminal flare at the base would be a tail-like shape. The central motif engraved, a large double-lined X, represents both a powerful fertility symbol, water, and the four cardinal angles. The swallow symbolizes the water deity and his powers, as the faro's aerial messenger in the Bamana legends of creation.

The Malinke live in southwestern Mali in the areas of Wassalou and Baninko. They also live in the northwestern adjacent areas near the district of Djitoumou and Kita, and in Guinea. Sharing a number of cultural commonalities and rituals with their neighbors, the Bamana, Malinke locks have certain features in common with their Bamana counterparts in terms of overall structure, locking devices, and engraved symbols.
19th century or earlier.

Object #4253

Origin :

Mali (Yanfoilla area)

Type :

Door locks

Ethnic group :

Malinke

Material :

Very hard wood, fine aged and eroded patina

Size :

H = 12 inches

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