Dogon granary shutter (Front view)
Granary with shutterMaps

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Item : Dogon granary shutter, Picture : Front view (approx. 23 Kbytes)


This very old shutter was placed midway up the granary wall, and provided access to the goods stored inside. The Dogon granaries are narrow, four-sided or round, with a structure made of wood and covered with cob, and generally a thatch roof (see picture).

The chevrons symbolize the lebe snake, as well as the fertilizing rain. The central figures represent tortoises in very abstract way. The tortoise is one of the totemic animals of Dogon. One as well finds it represented on shutters, as on attic posts, doors, or door locks (ta koguru). Aquatic animal related to the fertility of growing, it protects by its symbolic strength the granary against robbers, and generally wards off fate.
Sculpted by the blacksmith of the village for the hogon (spiritual chief) and notables, shutters are one of the major elements of Dogon art. Extremely furrowed surface is the sign of a great antiquity.

Object #2552

Origin :

Mali (Bandiagara cliffs area)

Type :

Architectural components

Ethnic group :

Dogon

Material :

Brownish wood, furrowed patina

Size :

W = 12.9 inches; H = 26.7 inches

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