African art > African mask > Bambara Mask
Ntomo Bambara Mask (N° 18907)
This African mask of the ntomo, an initiatory society of uncircumcised youths widespread in the Niger River region, is considered a male mask thanks to its six horns. This mask appears mainly during the harvest season. At the top appears the effigy of the antelope " ci wara". It is embellished with buckles, cowries and cotton pompoms. Patina very slightly satin.
Established in central and southern Mali, in a savannah area, the Bambara, "Bamana" or "unbelievers", as the Muslims have named them, belong to the large Mande group, along with the Soninke and Malinke. Mostly farmers, but also herders, they are the largest ethnic group in Mali. Animists, they believe that the existence of a god requires the gestation of a child. Ngala maintains the order of the universe. His existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, who gave all the qualities to men and who makes the fruits of the earth grow. The groups of nyamakala craftsmen, more specifically the blacksmiths named numu, are in charge of the sculpture of ritual objects, endowed with nyama, occult energy. Using fire and magical objects, the role of healer and diviner is also attributed to them. Their powers are transmitted to their wives, who alone have the right to produce pottery.
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|Material(s)||wood, cauris, coton, crin|
|Estimated dating||2ème halfxx°|
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