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Bamana Female Figure Mali African Art 20 Inch

Product #: 114375
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Title Bamana Female Figure Mali African Art 20 Inch
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Mali
People Bamana
Materials wood
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 20.5 Inches
Width: 4.75 Inches
Depth: 5 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. 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, chipped on neck

Additional Information: A Standing Female Figure from the Bamana people of Mali.

The extraordinary range of figural sculpture among the Bamana of Mali gives rise to a wide range of styles sharing certain identifying characteristics. They can have, as in this work, an elongated torso, with short and slightly bent legs and prominent feet and with focus upon the head and hair and conically shaped breasts.  This figure is known as Jomooni or Gwandusu among the Bamana serving as visual metaphor for the concept of regeneration and the difficulty of giving birth. 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 the use of sculpture called masiriw - the visual ornaments of Jo. 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.

 Recommended reading: Colleyn , J.P. (ed,) 2001, Bamana, Art of Existence in Mali.