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37. Dogon doorlock fragment, Mali, wood, 10 1/2" (26.5 cm)
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37. Dogon doorlock fragment, Mali, wood, 10 1/2" (26.5 cm)
  Among the Dogon the chief male elder and spiritual leader of a village is called the Hogon. As in many cultures throughout the Savannah, his symbol, reflecting the importance and prestige of his position, is the horse, the animal associated with wealth and power. Hence the use of the horse and rider in this doorlock fragment is indicative that it was the lock of the Hogon, probably for a window or small door on a granary, judging by its size. (Compare the size of this lock to #45, which was probably placed on the front door of a home or compound.)
  With an extraordinary economy of means the master hand that created this doorlock blended horse and rider into one form, living forever in a timeless present. Though obviously a Dogon carving, the simplicity of form transcend time and culture, and make it a universal statement. Who was this carver? What else can we attribute to his hand? What experiences had shaped the talents he brought to this piece of wood, transforming it into a doorlock- an everyday functional object, blessing it with a near miraculous new life.

Anonymous Collection

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