STATUE OF DO NYELENI
H : 58 cm.
Wood and metal
The Bambaras constitute an important tribe in Mali. If
they are mostly Moslems today, their ancient cult, "do" (or "dyo"
or "jo" depending on the groups) comprises an interesting mythology in
which appear strongly personalised divinities. This young girl, whose
representation bears the name Do Nyeleni (little chosen girl of the "Do"),
is the protectress of future mothers as indicated by the breasts shaped like
sugar-loaves and the prominent navel. The mixture of angles and curves is very
carachteristic of Bambaran statuary. The sculptor has added incrustations
produced with copper nails to the detailes incision work: the zig-zag bands
which decorate the statue more than likely evoke Ba Faro, the goddess of water
and mother to the Bambaran pantheon.
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