African art > Doors, shutters, ladders dogon wood > Dogon Gate
Dogon Gate (N° 19889)
French African art collection.
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This Dogon door or shutter, complete with lock, is elaborately carved with bas-relief anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures and scenes evoking the rich Dogon cosmogony. According to Dogon mythology, the first inhabitants of the Bandiagara area crossed the river on the back of a crocodile. The figures may symbolize previous generations, mythical ancestors, but the owners of the granary are also frequently featured. The door is made of vertical panels held together by large metal staples. The motifs on the doors in Mali, apart from their decorative value, are intended to dissuade intruders, whether human or animal, from entering. The locks, like the doors, are carved in wood chosen according to the function of the building in which they will be used. For each plant is attributed particular virtues.
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