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Bamana Bozo Malinke Male Ancestor Mali Africa 22 Inch

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Product #: 68817
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Title Bamana Bozo Malinke Male Ancestor Mali Africa 22 Inch
Type of Object Figure
Country of Origin Mali
People Bamana, Bozo, see also Malinke
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 22.5 inches H.
Overall Condition Good
Damage/Repair chips, shallow cracks, dents in place


Additional Information:


Male figure tentatively attributed to the Bamana.  This figure could be a work from Bamana neighbors such as Malinke or Bozo.  The existence of male figures among the Bamana is not well-documented, but those that are known are linked to annual ceremonies of the ""Guan"" Society, and they are quite rare. It is possible that this piece is one the smaller Guan attendant figures, but the simple form makes this somewhat unlikely. The piece is more likely an ancestor figure. Whatever its purpose, it was important to the village, as its form suggests that it may represent an important member of the society holding an emblem of status, the spear.Or an initiator holding a dance wand!


The Bamana have made a significant contribution to the popularity of African art.The genesis of the Bamana as a definable culture can be traced back to the 17th century, though archaeological evidence hints that they could be much older. They are of Mandinke origin and today are the largest culture in Mali. The zenith of Bamana culture occurred during the late 18th century during the reign of N'golo Diara, who conquered the Peul tribe and occupied the important cities of Timbuktu and Djenne. They remained powerful until conquered by the French in 1892. Recently, like many African cultures, they have been affected by Islamic settlers from the east. Though they continue to consider themselves animists, many Bamana villages now practice a hybrid combination of both ""religions."" This has allowed these competing cultures to coexist peacefully.