Global Art & Artifacts

Marka / Warka Mask with Brass. Bamara. Cloth hood. Mali. Africa.

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures

 

 

The largest ethnic group in Mali are the Bamara… about 2.5 million. In the northern region of the Bamara territory are the Marka (aka Warka), known for their unique and artistic masks covered with brass or copper and other adornments.

 

The masks are generally carved with a comb on top plus fibers. These are most often used for ceremonies and rituals.

 

In this case, the face is covered in brass/copper alloy which was probably designed as a simple N’tomo initiation mask for young boys moving into puberty. (N’tomo masks used in large multi-tribe ceremonies are covered in beads.) This is a simplier version. There are a lot of extras such as a cloth hood and beads in the comb. . . . perhaps signaling the son of a tribal leader.

 

A unique find. The stand is not included.

 

For the Serious Collector.

 

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