Berber Thuya door with wooden lock inscribed with a stylistic palm tree and an inverted animal figure, possibly a horse. The solid wooden hinge created from a palm wood, the three panels of the door probably Thuya wood genus Thuja articulate, or Tetraclinis articulate, belonging to the cypress family, a conifer type found across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, Malta and south-east Spain, preferring dry arid conditions. The door also features a large wooden lock, decorated with geometric Berber designs.
These doors are an integral part of the culture and history of the Berber peoples of Saharan North Africa. A main portal to the home, protecting from the harsh elements of the region. Decorations, symbols passed down over generations are incised into these doors, some meanings have been lost to time, others of a more modern nature have been over carved, these over carvings offer a cultural link and display a naivety of craftsmanship which is very appealing.
The erosive climate of the desert creates over time a unique and wonderful sun-bleached surface to the wood panels. This only reinforcing the hardship of the traditional Berber and Tuareg lifestyle of yesteryear and of more modern times still. The doors often found with inscriptions, geometric images, objects and stylistic motifs of nomadic importance. Some of the designs are so intricate they support the original owners past status or wealth in the local community.