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Bamana Ntomo Mask with 7 Horns Mali on Stand African Art

Product #: 90139
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Title Bamana Ntomo Mask with 7 Horns Mali on Stand African Art
Type of Object Face Mask
Country of Origin Mali
People Bamana
Materials Wood, glass, shells, brass
Approximate Age mid 20th Century
Dimensions 24.5 inches H. x 7.5 inches W. x 6.5 inches D., 35.25 inches high on stand, stand base is 7.25 x 7.25 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 Crack in the top back, old chips, missing shells and beads.

Additional Information: A Bamana face mask surmounted by 7 carved horns. The face is characterized by a bulging forehead, a strong and straight nose, small circular openings in place of eyes, and a pursed mouth, the ears are pierced with twisted brass hoops.  Scarification lines are marked on cheeks and forehead. The mask belongs to the category of N'tomo (N'Domo) mask.   

N'tomo masks serve to protect young boys during their first initiation cycle before circumcision. This style of N'Tomo mask with figure of the head and horns is located to the region of Bougouni in Mali. The number of horns make reference to specific characteristics of males (three, six , or 9 horns) or females (four or eight horns) and the androgynous (two, five or seven).  N'Tomo masks never speak demonstrating their power to protect the young boys by its presence. It would be danced by mature men to protect the boys and it would also be worn by the boys as they would dance and test one another. This horned mask would have been worn as a face mask. The surface and the back show good signs of long use.  Carved in secret by  the blacksmith the mask was made from a single piece of wood. 

 Recommended Reading: Brett-Smith's THE MAKING OF BAMANA SCULPTURE-CREATIVITY AND GENDER, and superb examples in BAMANA-THE ART OF EXISTENCE IN MALI, edited by Colleyn.