Mali, with heavily encrusted surface, the simple form powerfully bold and abstract. height 37 1/2in
Exhibited: Governors State University, IL, 2003 Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003 Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004 Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005
Published: Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.2, fig.4
One of the highest religious associations into which a Bamana can be initiated, Kore is foremost concerned with acceptable and responsible behavior. Its rites are carried out at the end of the dry season around a tree within a sacred grove and its symbolism suggests space, the sky, rain, fire, thunder and fertility. This particular example may represent a stylized horse; however, its structural components can also be interpreted as a synthesis of several animals at once. It features an interesting handle-like device running from the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the face. The exact use or meaning of this enigmatic structure is unknown.