Boli Nyama Power Figure

c. 1850
$28,800 USD
Make an Offer
W: 9.0" D: 27.0" H: 17.5"
Natural Material
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
Estimated Shipping

Created at the beginning of the 20th century by artisans of the Bambara people of Mali, this figure was shaped with cloth and organic substances around a wooden core, emulating the sculptural form and crusty texture of the sacred boli. Layered with sacrificial materials, the boli served as a mediating force in Bambara culture, imbued with supernatural energy called nyama, and was invoked as a mediating force between the spirit and human realms. The most sacred of all Bambara sculptures, these ritual objects are handled only by a select group of elders and consulted to resolve disputes, cure illnesses, hunt down malicious spiritual forces, and protect the community from harm. Amorphous and organic, the figure resonates with modernist sculpture yet is energized with a vibrant spiritual connection.

Questions? Ask us

What They're Saying

Portrait degiulio f8a680c3e73b3fb63ffb02ab7823d9440a08a2b47070bb7dffb1a9dd80de76f8
Mick de Giulio | de Giulio kitchen design

“I love working with PAGODA RED. When I’m looking for something distinctive for one of my clients, I can be sure I’ll find it there. Betsy has an incredible eye for the beautiful and unique and she continues to offer one of the best collections of Chinese furniture and decorative art.”

Receive our weekly email on design &
creating memorable spaces