African art and masks of initiation ceremonies
It is during the initiation ceremonies of young boys relating to the Ntomo society and shared with their Malinke neighbors, that the Bambara dance these masks.
The long, busted nose, which the Bambara favor in their tribal statuary, is associated with sociability and clan cohesion. In front of the four horns encrusted with cowries stands a sculpture in the round representing a woman.
Dark brown patina, oiled and matt.
The groups of Bambara artisans nyamakala , more specifically the blacksmiths named numu , are in charge of carving ritual objects, endowed with the nyama , occult energy. Using fire and magical objects, the role of healer and diviner is also attributed to them. Their powers are transmitted to their women, who alone have the right to produce pottery.
Six male associations, the Dyow , using Bambara masks, structure the Bambara community: young people first enter the n'tomo circumcision society, then comes the komo ,the nama , the kono , the koré and finally the Tyi Wara agrarian society.
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