Bamana Jonyele Miniature Figure 7.5 Inch Mali
This stunning African carving is a masterpiece created by the Bamana people, a well-known ethnic group from Mali West Africa. The carving is made from rich, dark wood and has been meticulously crafted by skilled artists using traditional techniques.
The extraordinary range of figural sculpture among the Bamana of Mali gives rise to a wide range of styles sharing certain identifying characteristics. The sculpture is an important visual component of the Jo initiation society for young girls and boys. Located primarily among southern Bamana, Jo takes place over a span of years in which the initiates undergo training and instructions which includes the use of sculpture called masiriw - the visual ornaments of Jo. As part of annual celebrations that take place when the first rains of the year occur figures such as this would be taken from their shrine house to the center of the village where they would be ritually cleansed and decorated with beads. These events were directed to assure the fertility of women and crops and to acknowledge the ancestors.
The Bamana people of Mali, West Africa, have a rich cultural heritage that combines both Islamic and traditional religious beliefs. Their political structure is patrilineal, meaning that positions of power and leadership are inherited and passed down through the male lineage. The political leaders within the Bamana community also hold control over the religious aspects of the group.