Dogon Granary Door

Dogon granary door depicting the 8 original primordial ancestors.
Tribe: Dogon

Origin: Mali

Approx Age: Mid 20th Century

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: 54 tall 44 wide

Ref. Number: 1277

A very worn and aged Dogon granary door depicting the 8 primordial ancestors known as the nommo, deep grain weathering and an encrusted patina, simplicity in the carved figures compared to the much newer and complex designs on granary doors. This door has concaved slightly due to age and weathering, looks superb displayed on its bespoke stand.

Provenance: Collected 1976, ex Lampevelden collection, Netherlands.


This granary door is crafted in the older simpler style, contrary to the popular, but more complex, designs of today. This has been vetted as authentic, with signs of significant age. This door protected the window-like opening into each family’s grain storage building. The primordial beings/ancestors symbolize that this door was served to protect the entrance by making it sacrosanct. The figures are carved on one panel this doors is well used and as a result, has a beautiful eroded and encrusted patina.

Dogon buildings are a unique architecture of sculptural mud-built huts, altars, distinctive tapering granaries for each sex, each with a pointed cap of thatch, and meeting houses (Diakite, 1988; Hollyman & van Beek, 2001). The granary doors are small and are placed midway up the granary wall. It provided access, throughout the year following harvests, to the goods stored inside (millet, sorghum, rice, corn). The Dogon granaries are narrow, four-sided or round, with a structure made of wood and covered with cob, and generally a thatch roof or a terrace roof.

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