BAMBARA, CEREMONIAL VESSEL, CAST COPY , 12", Ivory
The Bambara, who inhabit upper Niger River in Mali, West Africa,
attach a religious significance to all objects they create. Guided by a
powerful feeling for tradition, they preserve their beliefs from generation
to generation. Through their rituals, they pay homage to ancestors, placate
the guiding spirits of the universe and initiate the young into adulthood.
This reproduction of a Bambara 19th century ceremonial vessel is decorated
with the stylized female figures revealed on bowls used by Bambara fertility
cults. Such bowls keep butter, a ritual ointment applied after a bath of
purification. The original is in the Detroit Instistute of Art.
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