Large Hand Carved Dogon Door

Large Hand Carved Dogon Door

  • $1,100.00
    Unit price per 

The Dogon people of Mali are among the oldest surviving African cultures despite the fact that throughout their existence more powerful neighbors have threatened them. For protection, until about 300 years ago the Dogon built their villages near or in the famous Bandiagara cliffs. They have thus been nicknamed the Hill, Cliff and Mountain people. Dogon art manifests in masks, architectural objects, statues and vessels. The Dogon realize that they are not the first inhabitants of the land that they now occupy. Their myths, legends, traditions and art retain the memories of their predecessors. The Dogon people of Mali are known the world over for their creation of Dogon Doors. The doors have various uses in their society; first as the physical closure to their granaries. Secondly they are created and exchanged as gifts for birthdays, marriages, tokens of luck and rites of passage bequests. Thirdly, when used as a part of the architecture, as a door or shutter, in a private abode, through the use of symbols they are used to describe the occupation of the person or that persons persona or status in the village.

This finely-carved door once adorned a Dogon home, serving both to protect and sanctify the people who lived inside. The rows of figures seen on Dogon doors represent patrilineal ancestors. The presence of male and female figures in the present example suggest the male-female duality which is central to Dogon origin myths; these primordial couples are the progenitors of humanity, the ideal compliments to one another, and the source of life.

According to the Dogon mythological system the divine power of Amma created the first living being, called Nommo, who multiplied to become four pairs of twins. One of these Nommo twins rebelled against the order set in place by Amma (the God essence). In response, Amma, seeking to purify the universe and restore order, sacrificed one of the other Nommos. Thus Nommo's body was cut up and scattered throughout the universe, and from these parts Amma created eight ancestors of humanity: four males - Amma Serou, Lebou Serou, Binou Serou, Dyongou Serou - and their four female twins. In the final phase of genesis, these eight ancestors, together with another Nommo and everything needed for human life, were placed in an ark and sent to Earth.

Door can be mounted on as large wall panel or fitted to be used as a functioning door.  

Measurements: 36" x 80"