African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bamana Mask

Bamana Mask (N° 25435)

African art and the founding myths of Bambara
This animal sculpture refers to the horse-antelope Ciwara ("wild beast of the earth") which is said to have taught agriculture to man. She would also have offered him the first cereal. The crest mask rests on a basketwork hat covered with textile. Matte brown patina.
Erosions.
Worn on the top of the head, these crests accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tòn, an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks traveled the field by leaping in order to chase away from it the nyama, evil scents, and to detect any danger, or to flush out the evil spirits that could delight the soul of the cultivated plants as well as the life force of their seeds.

Established in central and southern Mali, the Bambara," Bamana" or "unbelievers ", as the Muslims called them, belong to the large Mande group, with the Soninke and the Malinke. Animists, they believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, who is endowed with 266 sacred attributes.  

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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyBambara
Countrymali
Material(s)wood, perles, vannerie, textile
Height cm94
Width18 cm
Weight1.00 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle inclusOptional

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