About the Object
“Bambara sculptures are primarily used during the annual ceremonies of the Guan society. During these ceremonies, a group of up to seven figures, measuring from 80 to 130cm in height, are removed from their sanctuaries by the elder members of the society. The sculptures are washed, re-oiled and sacrifices are offered to them at their shrines.”
About the Bambara People
“The 2,500,000 Bambara people, also called Bamana, form the largest ethnic group within Mali and occupy the central part of the country, in an area of the savannah. They live principally from agriculture, with some subsidiary cattle rearing in the northern part of their territory. The Bambara people are predominantly animists, although recently the Muslim faith has been spreading among them. The Bambara kingdom was founded in the 17th century and reached its pinnacle between 1760 and 1787 during the reign of N’golo Diarra is credited with conquering the Peul people and in and in turned claimed the cities of Djenne and Timbuktu. However, during the 19th century, the kingdom began to decline and ultimately fell to the French when they arrived in 1892. For the most part, Bambara society is structured around six male societies, known as the Dyow (sing Dyo).”
Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.
Dave Dahl – CEO Discover African Art
Keywords: Bamana, Bambara, Warka, Bozo, Mali, Figure, Statue,