Dublin Core




Granary Door


This is a door. It is made of wood. It was made by the Dogon of Mali, Africa. On the right side are the two points that act like hinges on both ends. The upper and bottom sides of the door have matching ridges, before going smooth. The door is split into two sections. On the right panel are two human figures that are somewhat androgynous and stacked on top of each other. On the left panel is a reptile, possibly a chameleon or crocodile, at the top. Under it is a pair of mounds with what seems to be a mortar and pestle under it. Granary doors act as protection for a Dogon family’s storage of grain. Figures from daily life, nature, Dogon mythologies, and family ancestors are carved into the door to act as further protection. The two human figures on the right may be Nommo, the first primordial being made by Amma, the sky creator god. Nommo would eventually transfer into four sets of twins and so, Nommo typically references multiple figures. The Nommo is said to have scales for skin that change color, which might reference the reptile as a chameleon. If it is a crocodile, it may be a simple symbol of power. The pair of mounds underneath the reptile is a pair of disembodied breasts, which are linked with fertility and prosperity, important to agriculture. The mortar and pestle are represented as these are the tools to ground grain that is protected in the granary stores.


The Dogon


Martha and Robert Fogelman


Art Museum of the University of Memphis


ca. 19th/20th century


Neecole A. Gregory


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71.000x25.000xdepth 4.750
wood, carving