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Bamana Maternity Jomoori Gwandusu Mali African Art 30 Inch

Regular Price: $650.00

Special Price: $350.00

Product #: 109868
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Title Bamana Maternity Jomoori Gwandusu Mali African Art 30 Inch
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Mali
People Bamana
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 30.5 Inches
Width: 7.5 Inches
Depth: 8 Inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair cracks, dents, chips and scratches


Provenance:  From the collection of Howard Gelb, St. Paul, MN collector of African Art, who was also a businessman, lawyer, and philanthropist. Mr. Gelb died in 2015, at the age of 96.


Additional Information:  A strong sculpture of a seated mother carrying a child is from the Bamana. This is a classic example of Bamana sculpture stylistically identified to a number of similar figures and the shine of the surface could well harken back to an earlier style of carving in the early twentieth century.


Sculpture among the Bamana of Mali gives rise to a wide range of styles sharing certain identifying characteristics. The styles may range from elegant forms as this figure or reduced to sharply defined geometric sculptures. This wonderful Bamana figure is a rare classic carving with some  use and good age stylistically located to the area between Bougouni and Diola. This grave personage known as Jomooni or Gwandusu  is called a ‘maternity figure’ due to her holding a child at her waist, which represents not only a baby but the concept and difficulty of birth and regeneration. Sculpture is an important visual component of the Jo initiation society for young girls and boys. Located primarily among the southern Bamana, Jo takes place over a span of years in which the initiates undergo training and instructions which includes sculptures as “masiriw - the visual ornaments” of Jow. As part of annual celebrations that take place when the first rains of the year occur figures such as this would be taken from their shrine house to the center of the village where they would be ritually cleansed and decorated with beads. These events were directed to assure the fertility of women and crops and to acknowledge the ancestors The headcrest is typical of Bamana or even Dogon hairstyles shown in a double strands at the back of the head. Her ears are pierced and would at some point in the past had earrings drawn through them.


Ezra, K, Bamana, Art of Existence in Mali, . Colleyn, J.P. ed, 2001