Collection: Bamana

The Bamana people, also known as the Bambara, are an ethnic group located in Mali, West Africa. Bamana art and rituals are closely intertwined, as many artworks have religious and symbolic meanings and are used in important ceremonies and rituals.

One of the most notable examples of Bamana art used in rituals is the Chi Wara mask. The Chi Wara mask represents the mythical antelope who taught the Bamana people the art of agriculture. During planting season, the Chi Wara mask is worn by dancers who perform agricultural dances to ensure a bountiful harvest. The mask is often carved from wood and features intricate designs and symbolism, such as the antelope's curved horns and the sun, which represent fertility and growth.

Another example of Bamana art used in rituals is the Ntomo mask. The Ntomo mask is worn during initiation ceremonies for young men who are entering adulthood. The mask represents the spirit of the wilderness and is meant to protect the initiates during their journey into adulthood.

Bamana art reflects the history and heritage of West Africa, particularly the Mali Empire. Many of the techniques and materials used in Bamana art have been passed down through generations and are still used today.