By Victoria Rovine
University of Florida (formerly University of Iowa)

Dogon artist, Mali, Ginna shrine. Photo by M. K. Roberts, A. F. Roberts.

Architecture, like other possessions, may serve as an indicator of status. The large palaces of rulers set them apart from their subjects, conceptually as well as physically. Among the Dogon, the homes of lineage heads and priests are distinguished by the niches built into their exteriors. Mosques, churches, and other religious structures are also distinguished from homes in Africa as in Western towns and cities. While architecture itself is, of course, not readily collectible, the objects included in this section are associated with architecture, serving as both functional and decorative elements.