Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Traditional African doors art

African doors art. Security doors in granaries, Dogon people of Mali

Security doors in granaries, Dogon people of Mali. African doors art

African doors art

Generally, carving skill spread among all the peoples of Tropical Africa. In addition to well-known and well recognizable sculptures, ethnographers and collectors study doors art that represent much. For example, the ritual, protective, aesthetic and social status. Besides, door art has a historical, narrative, and even instructive function.
Meanwhile, almost all African peoples used images of animals on the carved doors. Animal credited special qualities or traits, and even considered as one of the ancestors of people.

Zanzibar, part of the ornament front door

Fragment of the ornament front door, Zanzibar

The chain on the left is the symbol of the enslavement of evil spirits, so that they would not hit home. But modern wooden doors in Zanzibar look different – thanks, first of all, to the spread of Western culture, familiarity of African artists with Western patterns and ornaments. Secondly, changing religion – from African animism to Islam or Christianity.

Two carved wing doors of the house of the leader in Eire, trapped in the Berlin Museum of Ethnology

Two carved wing doors of the house of the leader in Eire, trapped in the Berlin Museum of Ethnology

Meanwhile, the owner explained the importance of the drawing. On the first part of the first door the depicted monkey persecuted by leopard escapes from it, and climbes up a tree. On the last part of the second door – a man being held to prevent murder of seducer of his wife. However, there is no logical connection between the two images.

African doors art

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