African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bozo mask
Bozo puppet mask from Mali (N° 21179)
Polychromy of African Bozo art sculptures in Mali.
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Aquatic inspiration for African Bozo art sculptures
Polychromy for this African puppet mask honoring Faro, genius of the water, and featuring a plump fish. Abrasions and desiccation crack. The fin joint is held together by rubber tabs.
The Bozo , mostly fishermen and farmers, live in the northern part of Bambara country in the interior delta of the Niger and remain today still semi-nomadic, moving their dwellings according to the seasonal floods. They speak the Mande language and Sorogama. Within their group, we distinguish the Sorko or Sorogo, the Hain, and the Tie.
In addition to their remarkable masks, the Bozo and Bambara are renowned for their puppets of various sizes and frequently articulated, which are exhibited during the Sogow Bo puppet theater, which is organized on the initiative of young people in the villages, mainly in the Segou region, and which plays an educational role.
The invention of these puppets is attributed to the genies of the bush who kidnapped Toboji Centa, a Bozo fisherman.
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