African art > African mask > Masque Bamana

Marka/Bambara mask of N'tomo (N° 19033)

This African Bambara mask is surmounted by a female figure. Parallel horns encrusted with cowries, whose even number would indicate that it is a female mask, also rise to the top. The oblong face, highlighted with fine scarification patterns, is asserted by an imposing bushy nose that dominates prominent lips. The brown patina gives this piece a matte and velvety appearance.
One finds the Bambara , Bamana , in central and southern Mali. This name means "unbeliever" and was given to them by the Muslims. They belong to the large group Mande , like the Soninke and Malinke. Animists, they also believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, who has 266 sacred attributes. One, for each 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, master of the Word, who gave all the qualities to men and who makes the fruits of the earth grow. It is during the initiation ceremonies of young boys related to the society of the Ntomo, n'domo, and shared with their neighbors Malinke (including the Marka, a subgroup composed of Fulani and Moors living north of the Bamanas), that the Bambara make these masks dance. The young people then joined the Komo association, the most highly regarded of them, which governed community life.  

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Originex-collection française
EthnyMarkha
Countrymali
Material(s)wood, cauris, perles
Height58
Width18
Weight1.50 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°

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