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Door

Dogon peoples, Mali

Wood

Gift of Carol D. Hill

36.5 x 72 x 3.5 in

Dogon are known for rich iconography sculpted onto the surfaces of doors and granary shutters. The profuse images, ranging from depiction of primordial ancestors to symbolically meaningful animals such as lizards and crocodiles, are allusions to mythology, cosmology and deeply nuanced beliefs. This particular door merges such traditional motifs with a more recent iconography borrowed from a generic image pool that is shared by African artists across the continent working primarily for a foreign clientele and catering to an avid tourist trade. The stick-like renderings of people carrying head loads and pounding flour in a mortar are created for an audience with its own preconceived notions of “tribal” Africa.

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