Ancestor figure - Wood - Jo Nyeleni- Prov Jan Kusters - Bamana - Mali

Ancestor figure - Wood - Jo Nyeleni- Prov Jan Kusters - Bamana - Mali
1st half 20th century - Vintage - used with visible signs of wear

"Jo Nyeleni" figures depict the ideal of a young woman in the prime of life.
They are used in a seven-year cycle on the occasion of initiation celebrations of the "jo society" . Four Aluminum ear rings.
Aluminum ear rings (a metal considered to be as rare as gold at the time).
This statue represents a beautiful young woman of the Jo, an association that offers social guidance and teaches models of behavior, into which both women and men were initiated. Initiations took place every seven years.
Figures like this one were carried around by male initiates while they traveled for several months to neighboring villages, advertising their new adult status and their desire for marriage. The figures embody the physical attributes considered to be attractive to young Bamana women. Anointed with palm oil and aluminum ear rings, the sculptures represent women in their ideal state, at their highest degree of physical attractiveness.
Provenance: Jan Kusters collection. Netherland.
H= 42 cm
Published in "Living with African Art" by David Norden,2019. Nr013

Lot details
Ancestor figure
Indigenous object name
Jo Nyeleni- Prov Jan Kusters
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
1st half 20th century
Vintage - used with visible signs of wear
Sold with stand
42×10×8 cm
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