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Bamana Female Figure Jonyele Mali 17 Inch African Art

Product #: 96142
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Title Bamana Female Figure Jonyele Mali 17 Inch African Art
Type of Object Standing Female Figure
Country of Origin Mali
People Bamana
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions 17 inches H. x 3.75 inches W. x 3.75 inches D.
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 Worn patina, chips and cracks

Additional Information: A standing Bamana Female Figure Jonyeleni showing much handling and good age.

This figure portrays a beautiful young woman, a maiden with its firm and firm breasts . The Jonyeleni figure represents the aesthetic ideal of youthful beauty allied to the characterization of an ideal society of order and structure. Thus, this figure is identified as being a "Jonyeleni", a member of the Jo society, a woman's and men's initiation society among the Bamana. Young women will carry sculptures such as this from village to village indicating that they are no longer children but mature women ready and available for marriage. This takes place on a seven year cycle of initiation of boys and girls into this level of Jo Society membership. The sculptures carried by the young women serve as paradigms of beauty and well being reflecting the physical attributes of ideal beauty that the Jonyeleni reflects to others.  In some cases, jewelry and clothing would be attached to the figures to enhance their attractiveness. This well carved figure also characterizes the essence of womanhood and of social cohesion that results from the order and structure of the Jo woman's society.

For wonderful examples and more information, see BAMANA-THE ART OF EXISTENCE IN MALI, edited by Colleyn.