African art > Mask > Mask helmet janiforme Markha
Mask helmet janiforme Markha (N° 11684)
The Markha in African art.
These two longiform brass-plated faces meet at the top in a single ridge topped with multicolored pompoms. On either side of the crest, strips of red cloth, held by openwork strips of tin, cover the helmet. Typical of the marka and bambara sculpture, the noble rectilinear nose, organ of the senses and sociability, is enhanced by metal strips. A small mouth ajar lips projecting on the chin. Metal and wood are speckled by oxidation, giving a beautiful patina to this heavy piece. The Markha are organized into structured, hierarchical mask societies as found in many other ethnic groups. They have an initiatory language, a means of communication in the hands of the initiates. The Markha, also called Warka, live in the north of Bambara territory and have therefore been influenced by these especially in the design of their masks. The Markha, like the Bambara and the Bozo, have the particularity of adorning their statues with incised brass plates. Their puppets are also famous. In addition to the points of similarity between the art markha and bambara, they also have institutions in common.