Today, the doors of the Dogon are secured with metal padlocks — save for a few still adorned with the head of a lizard or the Islamic symbol of the crescent moon.
But this was not always the case. In years gone by, the doors to the thatched granaries storing each family’s supply of millet would be shut tight with carved wooden bolt locks.
These bò dágá (called anuan in some sources) — meaning 'grabbed on the door' — were also often found securing houses and shrines. Each individual lock was given a name depending on the message, personage, or myth that its carving conveyed.
Often the doors on which these locks hung were equally decorative, featuring ornate carvings, packed with symbolic imagery.