The Bambara live in
the region around Bamako, the capital of Mali.
Their traditions include
six male societies,each with its own type of mask.
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|| The Ntomo is for young
boys vertical projections placed transversely over the human face,
representing man as God first created him. The Komo is the custodian of
tradition and is concerned with all aspects of community
life--agriculture, judicial processes, and passage rites. Its masks are of
elongated animal form decorated with actual horns of antelope, quills of
porcupine, bird skulls, and other objects. Masks of the Kono, which
enforces civic morality, are also elongated and encrusted with sacrificial
material. The Tyiwara uses a headdress representing, in the form of an
antelope, the mythical being who taught men how to farm . The Kore, concerned with the sky and with the bringing of rain to make
the crops grow, employs masks representing the hyena, lion, monkey,
antelope, and horse. In addition there are masks of the Nama, which
protect against sorcerers. Ancestor figures of the Bambara clearly derive
from the same artistic tradition as do many of those of the Dogon; so also
do their sculptures in wrought iron. Rectangular intersection of flat
planes is a stylistic feature common to Bambara and Dogon sculpture.
|A fine Bamana mask XIXth century.
Provenance: Musée de Rennes, around 1960
High: 43 cm
Collection David Norden (c) 2004 - Sold
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this Bamana mask
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Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart
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