Bamana Iron Figural Hairpin Mali
The Bamana are members of the Mande culture, a large and powerful group of peoples in western Africa. Kaarta and Segou are Bamana city-states, which were established in the 17th century and continued to have political influence throughout the western central Africa states into the 19th century. At this time religious wars broke out throughout the region, setting Islamized societies against those who preferred to embrace traditional Bamana views. A dichotomy between traditional and Islamic views still exists today in Mali, and one may expect to encounter representations of both cultures existing side by side and quite often in syncretic combinations.