Ginna House

In each village in Dogon Country, Mali exists a large family dwelling, called a ginna, that is reserved for the spiritual leader of the community. The building has a raised living area reached by a ladder carved from a tree trunk. The windowless facade is decorated with 80 niches, representing the original ancestors and their descendants. The two doors are often carved with rows of male and female figures which, like the niches, symbolize earlier generations. Inside this building, some altars and a small shrine form the focus of the clan cult. In most Dogon villages, the head of a clan lives in the gina until his death.

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