African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bambara Mask
Bambara Mask (N° 14313)
This model, illustrating one of the stylized variations of Ci Wara, is the representation of a hippoatgue antelope whose high horns are curved backwards. Sculpted by the number, a blacksmith joining the group of craftsmen nyamakala , it has fine parallel incisions evoking the coat and diamonds. Matte patina and black brown dry. Localized abrasions.
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Worn at the top of the skull and held in place by a kind of small basket or a cotton cap, these crests accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tun , an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks roamed the field leaping in order to drive out the nyama, evil scents, and to detect any danger, or to hunt down evil geniuses that could delight the souls of cultivated plants as well as the vital strength of their Seeds. Established in central and southern Mali, the Bambara ," Bamana " or " unbelievers ", as the Muslims have named them, belong to the large Mande group, along with the Soninke and Malinke. Animists, they believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, who has 266 sacred attributes. One, every day of the 9 lunar months that lasts the gestation of a child. Ngala maintains the order of the universe. His existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, who gave all the qualities to men and who grows the fruits of the earth.
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