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Granary Door or Shutter

34 1/2 x 24 1/2 x 4 in. (87.6 x 62.2 x 10.2 cm)

Unknown, Dogon
Malian

Object Type: Woodwork
Medium and Support: Wood and iron
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1970.63
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

For hundreds of years the Dogon have lived along a very steep cliff called the Bandiagara Escarpment in buildings made of clay with thatch roofs. Doors like this, still in use by the Dogon, secure access to the variety of food stuffs stored in their granary buildings. The repetitive shapes on this door are stylized representations of male and female ancestors, and the cone-shaped elements on the left refer to fertility and the female breast. This imagery encourages abundance in life and crops and reflects values held by agricultural communities.
[Gallery label text, 2009]

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