The first time I came across these votives was in the Frida Kahlo Casa Azul in Mexico City. She and Diego Rivera owned over a thousand of them.
This one is dedicated to the the Virgin of Guadalupe for allowing the family to survive unscathed from a train robbery in Chihuahua. It measures 6 x 14 inches.
A retablo in Mexican folk art (also lámina) is a devotional painting, especially a small popular or folk art one using iconography derived from traditional Catholic church art. Many are ex-votos ("from a vow") that depict the story that led to their commission, usually dangerous or threatening events that actually occurred, and which the person survived, thanks to the intercession of a sacred person - God, Mary or a saint. They are made as a way of thanking the sacred person for protection in precarious situations, such as surviving an illness or earthquake. This class of ex-votos often shows the protected humans in the dangerous situation, and the sacred person who protected them, usually with an inscribed explanation of the events, with the date and location. Both devotional and especially ex-voto retablos may be deposited at a shrine as a votive offering, or alternatively kept at home.
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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.