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Bamana Marka Puppet Vulture Head Mali 36 inch African Art

Regular Price: $1,800.00

Special Price: $422.00

Product #: 87570
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Title Bamana Marka Puppet Vulture Head Mali 36 inch African Art
Type of Object Sculpture, marionette, puppet
Country of Origin Mali
People Bamana
Materials Wood, paint
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 36 inches H. x 22.75 inches W. x 6.5 inches d
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 general wear

Additional Information:  A stunning colorful marionette in the form of a moving  bird head. It comes in  three pieces: the head , the jaw and the crest. The jaw is attached with rubber band and nails. There are figures of  lizards and snake on the crest and along the animal head or Jaws.  The piece is embellished with motifs and spots various colors.

Mariottes like this were  found in Mali among the Marka and  close related peoples such as the Bamana and the Bozo. Marka art is not well documented. Many of the Marka objects are attributed to the well known group, the Bamana.  The Marka, also known as the Warka, live to the northeast of the Bamana along the Burkina Faso border. They share numerous artistic elements and ritual societies with their larger neighbors, even though they are from a different language group, being of Mande descent. They have produced masks  danced at the initiation ceremonies of young men.

Puppets are made and worn  each year  during the harvest  masquerade that is centered in the region around the Bamana city of Segou.  This is a long tradition found in that area. Performed today by the young men of the region it was first adapted from the Bozo people living along the Niger River.  Dance troops of young men, members of local youth groups, sing, dance, drum, manipulate puppets in creating performances called Sogo Bo.  Though considered to be a form of entertainment the performances are directed towards a description of the moral universe and the imperfection of humans and the need to educate people as regards ethical behavior and how to attain a religious way of life. 


I have examined this piece and agree with the description.

Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.