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Door Lock

Artist/Maker: Dogon people (Mali)

Date: 19th to 20th century
Medium: wood and iron
Overall: 8 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 1 3/4 in. (22.2 x 18.4 x 4.4 cm)
Classification: Architectural Elements
Credit Line: Gift of Alan Potamkin
Object number: 2007.48.49
DescriptionThis is a characteristic Islamic type of lock used throughout North Africa and the Sudan to secure the door of a granary and shutters or doors of other buildings. It consists of a vertical element typically carved to suggest a human or animal figure, and a horizontal bar with a groove on the back into which a wooden fork-like “key” can be inserted. The prongs of the key lift iron pegs that fall into holes in the horizontal beam and secure the lock. The vertical part of the lock is mounted on the left side of the door and the horizontal beam slides into a hole in the doorjamb.
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