|Title||Bamana Maternity Jomoori Gwandusu Mali African Art 17 Inch|
|Type of Object||Figure, statue, carving|
|Country of Origin||Mali|
|Approximate Age||Mid 20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 17.25 Inches
Width: 4.25 Inches
Depth: 4.25 Inches
19 inches tall on base; 5.5 inches square base
|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||surface is worn and shows age. some shallow cracks, possible arrested bug damage. general wear; see pictures for details.|
Additional Information: A strong sculpture of a kneeling mother with a child on her lap. The hairstyle and facial expression suggest that the carving is rom the Bamana.
Sculpture among the Bamana of Mali gives rise to a wide range of styles sharing certain identifying characteristics. The styles may range from elegant forms as this figure or reduced to sharply defined geometric sculptures. This wonderful Bamana figure is a rare classic carving with some use and good age stylistically located to the area between Bougouni and Diola. This grave personage known as Jomooni or Gwandusu is called a ‘maternity figure’ due to her holding a child at her waist, which represents not only a baby but the concept and difficulty of birth and regeneration. 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 sculptures as “masiriw - the visual ornaments” of Jow. 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 The headcrest is typical of Bamana or even Dogon hairstyles shown in a double strands at the back of the head. Her ears are pierced and would at some point in the past had earrings drawn through them.