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a bamana lock

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: African: Pre 1920: Item # 1156497

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galerie Cecile Kerner
19,rue Lebeau Brussels 1000
Belgium
32475830042

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a bamana lock
This door lock represents a protective spirit of the family (guardian spirit), probably a lizard or a crocodile (called bama). The vertical part forms the body of the animal. It symbolizes the protective spirit of the family (the guardian spirit) which protects from robbers. The crocodile is also the totemic animal of the kore secret society, the guardian of faro's waters, and symbolizes fertility, wealth and good fortune. This mythical crocodile was the first to stow away the ark of creation in faro's pond, and thus is in close relationship with this deity. Like the majority of the Bamana figures, door locks were traditionally sculpted by blacksmiths. Blacksmiths belong to a caste of highest rank, they are at the same time Masters of fire (work of metal, and knowledge of melting points), and carve the major part of wooden objects. In the past, the representation of prohibited animals was regarded as the sign of a great protective force. These animals could not be killed, eaten, nor even touched. the representation is higly stylised from a french collector who lived in mali in the seventies 46,5cm


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