br>This African Bambara mask is topped by a stylized crest. The eyes, framed by circular ears, are set under a bulbous forehead decorated with fine scarified patterns, while an imposing busted nose dominates narrow prominent lips.
The smooth, lustrous patina is adjacent to residues encrusted with light pigments.
Native restoration at the top.
The Bambara , Bamana , are found in central and southern Mali. The name means "unbeliever" and was given to them by the Muslims. They belong to the large Mande group, like the Soninke and Malinke. Animists, they also believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, who has 266 sacred attributes.
His existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, master of the Word, who gave all the qualities to men and who makes the fruits of the earth grow.
It is during the initiation ceremonies of young boys relating to the society of the Ntomo , n'domo , and shared with their Malinke neighbors (including the Marka subgroup composed of Fulani and Moors living to the north of the Bamanas), that the Bambara have these masks danced. The young men then entered the Komo association, the most highly regarded of them, which governed community life.
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