large door; carved jambs, lintel and central post on door; two complete rows remaining of large iron fasteners on door surface; only two remain in lower row; iron chain, plate and securing pin at top right center of door; four pins along center post on door

Door, mid 19th century

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Wood, ironexpand_more

The William Hood Dunwoody Fundexpand_more  98.46a-f

To own a stone mansion along East Africa’s Swahili coast meant your family was freeborn and in control of global circuits of trade and cultural exchange. The unadorned whiteness of the building’s exterior symbolized the purity of the family; the only ornamentation was the massive carved doorframe in the main entrance—a hint of the wealth and sophistication inside. An “international style” that developed in Zanzibar during the 19th century fused visual styles from mainland Africa, Gujarat, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf, all represented on this door.

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Swahili, Door (#442)
Details
Title
Door
Role
Artist
Accession Number
98.46a-f
Curator Approved

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large door; carved jambs, lintel and central post on door; two complete rows remaining of large iron fasteners on door surface; only two remain in lower row; iron chain, plate and securing pin at top right center of door; four pins along center post on door