Tribal art > African mask > Bamana mask
Bamana animal mask (N° 21312)
Very graphic mask, whose curved jaw would evoke the "sucking" of knowledge. The deep oiled patina is raised by geometrical patterns carefully incised on the surface.
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 breeders, they make up the largest ethnic group in Mali.
Groups of Bambara artisans nyamakala , more specifically the blacksmiths named numu , are in charge of sculpting ritual objects, endowed with nyama , occult energy. Using fire and magical objects, the role of healer and diviner is also attributed to them
Six male associations, the Dyow , using Bambara masks, structure the Bambara community: young people first enter the n'tomo circumcision society, then comes that of the komo ,the nama , the kono , the koré and finally the Tyi Wara agrarian society
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