African art > Door shutter > Dogon Gate
Dogon door (N° 14802)
The systems of closure of the Sahelian regions in African art
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This door Dogon equipped with its lock, carefully carved and rich in details, evokes by its anthropomorphic and zoomorphic representations the Cosmogon Dogon. The characters can symbolize previous generations, mythical ancestors, but the owners of the attic also appear frequently. Each of the characters at the top of the panel wears a kanaga mask, worn by the Dogon at the mourning ceremonies. Different scenes, in connection with daily life, also adorn this door. On the lock is symbolized the house of the owner. It is not a decorative element that does not carry any particular meaning, while allegorical in African culture. The set consists of two vertical panels fixed horizontally by planks at its upper and lower end.
The raised cones indicate the breasts of Nommo, the mythical ancestor, allegory of fertility.
The motifs on the doors in Mali, apart from their decorative value, are intended to deter the intruder, whether human or animal, from entering. The locks, like the doors, are cut from woods chosen according to the function of the building in which they will be used. For each plant is attributed to special virtues.
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