|Type of Object||
|Country of Origin||
About the Bamana 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.
About the Ntomo Mask
Ntomo is a society that prepares young boys for their adult life. Ntomo masks come in two classes. One class has an oval face with a thin mouth and a superstructure of horns arranged like a comb and sometimes covered in cowrie shells or dried berries. This mask is meant to teach the young boys the discipline and virtue of silence. The second kind has a protruding mouth with a long, ridged nose. A human or animal figure will sit between two horns. Each boy will participate in Ntomo until the day of his circumcision. This is the first of six stages of initiation marking the path from childhood to knowledge.