Door - Tonga People, Zimbabwe (#14)
Door - Tonga People, Zimbabwe (#14)
Door - Tonga People, Zimbabwe (#14) 1
Door - Tonga People, Zimbabwe (#14) 2
Door - Tonga People, Zimbabwe (#14) 3

Door - Tonga People, Zimbabwe (#14)

$1,950.00 Reg. Price $2,500.00   You Save $550.00
Title: Door

Material: Wood and Iron

People: Tonga

Country: Zimbabwe

The Tonga people who live in the Zambezi Valley, are famous for their ingenuity and craftsmanship. Their doors (Koma in the Tonga language), are often crafted from the Mubimba tree, making them thick and very heavy. For centuries the Tongas have been carving doors for their huts, using a single piece of hardwood. Their principal tools for this purpose are some of the oldest tools known to man - the axe and adze. These doors afforded the tribespeople a measure of protection from the big game that abounds in the area and are believed to keep out any bad or evil spirits.

The ancient system of doors having two opposing pegs swivelling within two corresponding holes in the top and bottom cross members of the door frame are used by several West African tribes, such as the Ibo in Nigeria and the Dogon in Mali. Further examples can also be found in Morocco and in the North African coast, right through to the Arabian Gulf. The Tongas, however, are the only people in Southern, Central and East Africa to make this type of door. It is thought they could have been shown this system by Arab traders who travelled up the Zambezi centuries ago.

Each Tonga family made their own door, resulting in great variations of design. Some have animals or fish incorporated into the aesthetic, but the majority have geometric patterns - mostly chevrons in a variety of shapes and configurations. Some are big and bold whilst others are carved with minute, lace-like fineness. In addition, most doors originally had a coat of paint applied to its surface. These crude pastes were made from a variety of crushed stones, mostly in earth colours plus black and white. Being water-based, most of these original colours washed off over time.

Most of the doors in our collection at Africa and Beyond are between 50 and 100 years old. Some certainly a bit older and some perhaps slightly newer. The design almost always is on one side (the outside), and no two doors are ever alike.

Custom-built metal stand included.

Door dimensions: 57 1/2" height x 20" width x 2" depth

Stand dimensions: 10" width x 10" depth

Door including stand dimensions: 58 1/12" height x 20" width x 10" depth
This is a heavy door, weighing 55 lbs.

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