**Originally Listed At $125**
West Africa, Mali, Bamana peoples, ca. early to mid 20th century CE. A hand-carved wooden puppet with interesting proportions; this once would have had a larger costume and perhaps body draped beneath it. The head is finely-detailed with incised eyes, a triangular nose, a petite mouth, and perforated semicircular ears, all capped with a crested coiffure. The top of the neck is relatively naturalistic with a tubular form, however the lower portion tapers to a thin transitional area to the large, elongated cone handle beneath. This puppet was likely created to play a role in the Sogo Bo, a puppet masquerade drama that focuses on domestic relationships between men, women, and each other in polygamous households. Conflict among wives is a common theme, and two of the main characters are the "Favorite Wife" and the "Bad Wife." Custom display stand included. Size: 15.5" H (39.4 cm); 17.5" H (44.4 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA acquired prior to 1970
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Expected age-commensurate surface wear, losses to portions of handle, neck, and face, two large but stable fissures along head and handle areas, with small nicks and chips across most areas, otherwise very good. Nice earthen deposits as well as brown patina throughout.