Malinke N'Tomo mask (Front view)
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Item : Malinke N'Tomo mask, Picture : Front view (approx. 20 Kbytes)


This mask, of an unusual type, is attributable to Malinke, neighbors of Bamana and which adopted the n'tomo society initiation rites. Multi-horned headpieces are specific to the n'tomo associations, but one of the particularities of this mask is that the horns are fitted into a large oval.

Used within the framework of initiatory rituals, and in agricultural ceremonies, it enclosed the spiritual and protective strength of the lineage. At the time of these ceremonies, the mask, then inert and secular, became the attribute of a dressed up dancer which gave it life and word. Because this is only through the movement, and through the dancer more particularly, that the mask finds its effectiveness.

This mask is exceptional both because of its vigorous and compact execution and its perfect symmetry.
Probably 19th century.

Object #2549

Origin :

Mali (Kayes area)

Type :

Masks and headdresses

Ethnic group :

Malinke

Material :

Fine aged patinated wood

Size :

H = 16.5 inches

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