Bamana N'tomo Mask with Five Horns Mali
A superb mask presenting multiple horns and a Chi wara icon on the forehead. This is a Bamana mask of N'tomo. Bamana N'tomo (N'Domo) masks serve to protect young boys during their first initiation cycle before circumcision. The number of horns makes reference to specific characteristics of males (three or six horns) or females (four or eight horns) and the androgynous (two, five, or seven). It would be danced by mature men to protect the boys and it would also be worn by the boys as they would dance and test one another. Ntomo maskers wear simple cotton costumes, sometimes with raffia attached, and they test one another by striking each other with sticks to develop forbearance in future life.