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Door lock

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This lock's carving alludes to Bamana esoteric knowledge. The headdress, abstracted face and prominent neck evoke Komo, a power association that imparts its secret knowledge to its male members. Today such locks have essentially disappeared in Bamana country, replaced by foreign-made types. Many...

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1960s, acquired in Bamako, Mali by Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart

African, Bamana peoples, Mali, 20th century, 1950–2000

Object Place



Overall: 42.7 x 8.3 x 7.5 cm (16 13/16 x 3 1/4 x 2 15/16 in.) Height x width: 45 1/2 in. (115.6 cm) Lender Accessory: 2.8 cm (1 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



Africa and Oceania


Decorative arts