A Bamana helmet mask
Lot 2503
A Bamana helmet mask
US$ 10,000 - 12,000
£5,900 - 7,100
Auction Details
Lot Details
A Bamana helmet mask, Kono
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

    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.