Bambara Female Nyeloni Figure

20th Century
$1,280 USD
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W: 5.0" D: 4.5" H: 17.5"
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With angular curves, refined facial features, and plaited hair, this wooden figure by the Bambara people of Mali is carved to embody ideals of feminine beauty and fertility. To further enhance its beauty, the figure's basic form has been etched with scarification marks across the torso, dressed in clothing made of woven fibers, and burnished smooth with oil. Known as jonyeloni or "pretty little one," these female figures were used in performances by male initiates of the secret Jo association, specifically by a subdivision of blacksmiths. Placed in the center of the performance arena or held by the performer, these figures were included in the dance to convey concerns about marriage and courtship.

Figure's right arm has been repaired.

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