African art > African mask > Bambara Mask

Masque Bamana Lion (N° 14389)

Large zoomorphic mask with a jaw articulated by rubber ties. Mate patina, dry, locally cracked revealing an old vivid paint. Abrasions, cracks and misses.
Establishes 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. In addition to their remarkable masks, the Bozo and Bambara are renowned for their puppets of various size and frequently articulated, exhibited during the puppet theatre Sogow bo which is organized on the initiative of the young people of the villages, mainly in the Ségou region, and which plays an educational role. Multicolored geometric patterns and graphic symbols are painted on this zoomorphic mask, likely in relation to the sixteen signs used in geomancia. The zigzag lines would represent the movements of the sun, with some angles showing the cardinal points, each additional element participating in the reading of these signs. 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 the komo, the nama, the kono , the koré and finally the agrarian company Tyi Wara  

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Originex-collection Moreno
Material(s)wood, caoutchouc
Weight2.90 Kg
Estimated dating1sthalfxxe
Socle inclusOptional

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