Modern Malian artisans recreate miniature masks based on larger models used in Marka and Bamana ceremonies.
The mask at left is styled after a Bamana N'tomo initiation mask, used in ceremonies leading up to the circumcision of young boys. The number of vertical protrusions varied, based on the advanced level of the wearer.
The mask at right is styled after a Marka mask. Marka and Bambara-speaking tribes share similar beliefs, but the Marka have tended toward commerce far more than their agrarian neighbors to the south. At the zenith of Marka affluence, these beautiful masks were covered in gold plate.
5"L x 4"W x 14.5"T
Wood, stain, brass, metal