African art > Mask > Masque Bamana

Bambara antelope face mask (N° 14600)

Two ringed horns stand parallel at the top of this Bamana mask, Bambara, extended by a long nose and an oblong snout. Parallel hatches are incised on the surface of the wood, evoking the scarifications in use. Dark skate, mate. Piece collected by the painter 'a href'""- Karl Heinz Engstfeld and 'a href-U'0022"'Ruth Schgst , a gandher artist. Established in central and southern Mali, in a savannah area, the Bambara ," Bamana " or " unbelievers ", as the Muslims have named them, belong to the great Mande group, along with the Soninke and Malinke. Mainly farmers, but also herders, they make up the largest ethnic group in Mali. Animists, they believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, who has 266 sacred attributes. The groups of artisans bambara nyamakala , more specifically the blacksmiths named numu , are in charge of the sculpture of ritual objects, endowed with the nyama , occult energy. Using fire and magical objects, the role of healer and soothsayer is also attributed to them. Their powers are passed on to their wives, 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 society of circumcision n'tomo, then that of komo, the nama, the kono , the koré and finally the agrarian company Tyi Wara .  

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OriginEx. collection Engstfeld
Weight0.50 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1940

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