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Africa Direct

Bamana Figure Jonyeleni or Malinke Mali African Art 42 Inch

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Special Price $290.00 Regular Price $650.00
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Title Bamana Figure Jonyeleni or Malinke Mali African Art 42 Inch
Type of Object Figure, carving
People Bamana
Approximate Age Second half 20th century
Height (in) 42 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 Cracks

Additional Information: A large standing female figure from the Malinke or Bamana people. If truly Bamana, this  figure would represent a beautiful young woman and could be identified as a "Jonyeleni", a member of the Jo society, a woman's and men's initiation society among the Bamana. Young women will carry figures 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. This idealization of beauty is reflected in the scarification and body markings as well as her stylized coiffure and the jewelry and clothing attached to the figure 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. The Jonyeleni figure represents the aesthetic ideal of youthful beauty allied to the characterization of an ideal society of order and structure.' For wonderful examples and more information, see BAMANA-THE ART OF EXISTENCE IN MALI, edited by Colleyn.

I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.