Bambara Door Lock
Culture: Bambara (Bamana, Banmana).
Date: early 20th century.
Size: h. 50 cm (19 ¾ in.).
Provenance: ex collection Lisa Guildemont, Liège, Belgium.
Extra: A large zoo-anthropomorphic vertical element, chest, of a door lock of the Bambara, for a house or a millet granary. Carved out of wood. Human body and face, extended by a pair of antelope horns, a totem animal of the Bambara. The rectangular body is decorated with fine, geometric line patterns. A piece with an impressive, visibly very old usage patina on the lock body.
The locks, usually belonging, may be offered to them by their husbands on the occasion of a birth or to celebrate the woman's installation with her husband. These are personal belongings that are transmitted to girls and daughters-in-law.
The Bambara (Bamana, Banmana) form the largest ethnic group within Mali. The triangle of the Bambara region, divided in two parts by the Niger River, constitutes the greater part of the western and southern Mali of today.
Photo credit: © Jean Godecharle.
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