African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bambara Mask
Bambara Mask (N° 16434)
A narrow forehead under which the slits of the gaze are lodged, a buzzed nose highlighted by two scarified ribs and a reduced mouth almost evoking the beak of a bird. This unconventional mask, however, echoes the general conventions of Bambara sculpture, with an emphasis on the nasal organ. Dark, grainy, ochre-encrusted skate.
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Lack on the posterior outline.
The Bambara of central and southern Mali belong to the large Mande group, such as the Soninke and Malinke. They believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala who maintains the order of the universe. His existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro. Six male associations, the Dyow, using Bambara masks, structure the Bambara community: young people first enter the circumcision society n'tomo, then that of komo, nama, the kono , the koré and finally the agrarian society Tyi Wara Large masked festivals close the initiation rites of the association dyo and the ritual of the gwan des bambara in the south of the Bambara country. Spread over a seven-year period for men, they are less demanding for women. The new initiates then celebrate, in groups, from village to village, their symbolic rebirth.
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