These are exquisite cultural treasures. And make for wonderful decor. These come from the Dogon people of Mali. Such an amazing otherworldly aesthetic there.
The Dogon people are located in the southeastern parts of Mali. The granary door is located on a family's granary. The higher one's status, the more elaborate and complex in design the granary door would be. These doors were created to protect the harvest of the Dogon people. Primordial beings, ancestors, Kanaga masks, breasts, sun lizards and scenes of life symbolically served to protect the entrance by making it sacrosanct. Ancestral beings were carved on the door to in the purpose to protect what lies on the other side of the door. Also, these doors recognized spiritual beings that were in charge of fertility and agriculture. Masked figures were often carved on granary doors. These figures wear Kanaga masks. These masks represent the female spirit and birds. In Dogon society, birds are symbols that represent fertility. Located in a region where vegetation is quite low, the Dogon treasured the food that they had and needed to protect it; by doing so they ensured their existence. There are two types of Dogon granary, male and female. The larger male granaries (on the left) are used for storing grains. Men distribute the grain, usually millet, for the day's cooking. Male granaries are usually bigger that the female and have more than one door. The female granary (right) is used for storing other foods but also personal things like jewellery, clothing and pottery. Men are not allowed to enter a female granary.
This one measures 7 x 11 inches and has an exceptionally fine weathered patina.
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This one measures 13 x 7 inches. It is old and of high quality. The condition is as shown in the pictures.
The Kwele masks of Gabon are used during initiation ceremonies and or at the end of a mourning period. The masks represent the spirits of the forest. The face of the masks are normally painted with white kaolin, the white represents the spirit world (peace and tranquility.
The Kwele believe in witchcraft and blame all their personal and social ills on its influence. The Kwele protect themselves against the power of witchcraft with the 'beete' ritual.
The 'beete' is a ritual that involves purification by the spirits who are represented in the form of 'ekuk' masks. 'Ekuk' means the 'spirits of the forest' and the 'children of the beete'. Kwele masks represent the antelope whose flesh was eaten at the end of the 'beete' ritual.
Kwele masks have two large horns which sometimes encircle and frame the face. Areas of the face are often painted with white kaolin clay, the color of the spirits. Kwele 'ekuk' masks are beautifully stylised with a heart shaped face, almond shaped eyes and a small or non-existent mouth.
These are handmade 24kt plated fine silver hoops made by the Karen Hill Tribe people of Thailand. They are well known for their naturalistic designs that necessitate the use of fine silver because of the detail and organic nature of the curves and design.
These are quite lightweight and very graceful. 2" long 12g
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