This beautiful African mask is from the Bambara (Bamana/Banmana) tribe of Mali. It's of the ntomo society which prepares boys for their adult life and organizes their life until the time of their circumcision . These tribal masks are worn during the initiation rituals and is believed to absorb the wanzo released by the circumcision operation. Wanzo is an inner blindness of the human mind in all that regards self-knowledge, but refers also to the physical malformations, impurity and evil in general. Once one is free of this wanzo, he is considered to be a free and fertile adult. This mask has an oval face with seven long horns in a row on top which look like a comb. The mask is covered with cowrie shells, some are missing due to the age. It has a really small mouth which underscores the virtue of silence and the importance of controlling one's speech.
Condition: This tribal mask does show some signs of use. There are some splits, scrapes and cracks to attest its age and extensive use. Some of the cowrie shells are missing. We have included a lot of photos to show the condition of this mask.
Measurements: 22" tall and 7" wide
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