This African statue of the ‘little favourite’, Nyeleni in Bambara, is represented sitting on a wooden stool. The face is covered with a ridge, ‘horseshoe’ shaped ears drawn on the sides. The body features signs of motherhood and fertility through full and tight cone-shaped breasts and a prominent abdomen. Oily, oiled, patina with ochre residues.
The Bambara people of central and southern Mali belong to the large Mande ethnic group, such as the Soninke and Malinke people. They believe in the existence of a creative god generically called Ngala who maintains the order of the universe. Its existence coexists with another androgynous god named Faro, which attributed to men all of their qualities and which made the fruits grow on earth.
Important masked festivals similar the initiation rites of the Bambara Gwan association and ritual in the south of the Bambara country.
Spread over a seven-year period for men, they are less demanding for women. The new initiates then celebrate, their symbolic rebirth in groups, from village to village. The sons of the blacksmiths dance around these statues arranged outside the festivities and grouped on an altar after having been oiled and decorated. Each effigy carried a message for the insiders.
- Indigenous object name
- Ancienne collection Alphonse Bermel (Allemagne, Berlin)
- Ethnic group/ culture
- Region/ country
- 1st half 20th century
- Sold with stand
- 53×24×24 cm