Tribal art > African fetish > Fetish Boli
Fetish Boli Bambara (N° 19035)
This sculpture of a hunchbacked quadruped with a tail with an opening, has a thick, dark, blackish, hardened earthen layer impregnated with sacrificial elements, on which light-colored drips are outlined.
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Called boli ( pl. boliw ), buffalo, in African tribal art, this fetish of variable size plays a central role in the ritual life of the Mandingo region. There are pocket "Boliw", and others that belong to chieftaincies, initiation societies such as the male initiation associations Kono and Komo whose members progress through a process spanning several decades, and even to states.
The main function of a boli is to accumulate and control the natural life force called nyama for the spiritual benefit of the community . Used as altars or performed during dance performances, they are creations conceived from revelations miraculously bestowed on the geniuses of the bush and transmitted to the diviners, using active amalgams from nature and, or organic: daliluw . Animal bones, vegetable matter, honey and metal are aggregated around an inner frame of bamboo wrapped in a white cotton cloth. They are covered with layers of mud and clay, and sacrificial materials accumulate on their surfaces over time. Each layer of libation reinforces the spiritual power of the Boli and somehow "nourishes" it, reanimating its offensive and defensive power.
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