African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Bambara
Bambara female statue Jonyeleni (N° 18111)
Ex-collection of French African art.
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This African figure seems to fit into the category of sculptures featuring a 'little favorite', Dyonyeni, Nyeleni in Bambara, a young girl at the height of her beauty. The head with a crest is traditionally framed by braids. The presentation of an offering cup symbolizes a ritual. The base of the room is damaged.
Beautlyted surface. Dark, oily, locally thinned patina. It is possible to order a suitable base in black wood 18/18 cm.
The Bambara of central and southern Mali belong to the large Mande group, like the Soninke and Malinke. They believe in the existence of a creative god generically called Ngala who possesses 266 sacred attributes: one for each day of the 9 lunar months that lasts the gestation of a child. Ngala maintains order to the universe. Its existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, who has given all the qualities to men and who grows the fruits of the earth.
Surt masked festivals close the initiation rites of the association dyo and the ritual of gwan bambara in the south of the Bambara country. Spread over a seven-year period for men, they are less demanding for women. The new initiates then celebrate, in groups, from village to village, their symbolic rebirth. It is the sons of the blacksmiths who dance around these statues that were arranged outside the festivities grouped on an altar after having oiled and decorated them. Each effigy carried a message to the insiders.
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