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19th C. Mali Bamana Wood Ntomo Mask with Cowries

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19th C. Mali Bamana Wood Ntomo Mask with Cowries
Item Details
Description
Western Africa, Mali, Bamana peoples, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. Perhaps the oldest and most important Ntomo masks we have ever handled, carved from hardwood and presenting a wonderful visage that is densely adorned with rows of cowrie shells and with petite ruby red abrus seeds to accentuate the presentation. The generally oval shape of the face and the appearance of horns or spikes above constitute and aesthetic that is distinct to Ntomo masks. Size: 8.375" W x 26.25" H (21.3 cm x 66.7 cm)

According to Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi, Assistant Professor of Art History, Emory University, "Ntomo is one of many associations historically found in communities identified as Bamana, and its membership has usually consisted of young boys in the process of learning adult responsibilities. Not every Bamana community has always maintained or continues to maintain an Ntomo association, so the phenomenon is neither universal nor timeless (Colleyn 2009: 28). Reasons for staging a Ntomo performance have also varied, and performances have occurred at popular gatherings and other important events (Colleyn 2009: 28). Observers also report that Ntomo performers wear full-body masks, each consisting of a wooden face mask and cloth outfit." (Metropolitan Museum of Art website, 2016)

For another example of a Ntomo mask covered in cowrie snail shells, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 1978.412.368.

Provenance: ex-private Dr. Peter Horvath collection, Massachusetts and Florida, USA; purportedly Duke University Art Museum, deaccessioned, 1970s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#156720
Condition
Showing losses and wear, with light encrustations, otherwise in excellent condition with heavy patina from decades of use.
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19th C. Mali Bamana Wood Ntomo Mask with Cowries

Estimate $3,500 - $5,000
Nov 19, 2020
See Sold Price
Starting Price $1,600
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Artemis Gallery

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0098: 19th C. Mali Bamana Wood Ntomo Mask with Cowries

Lot Passed
0 Bids
Est. $3,500 - $5,000Starting Price $1,600
Ancient Treasures & Holiday Jewelry
Nov 19, 2020 10:00 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 24.5%

Lot 0098 Details

Description
...
Western Africa, Mali, Bamana peoples, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. Perhaps the oldest and most important Ntomo masks we have ever handled, carved from hardwood and presenting a wonderful visage that is densely adorned with rows of cowrie shells and with petite ruby red abrus seeds to accentuate the presentation. The generally oval shape of the face and the appearance of horns or spikes above constitute and aesthetic that is distinct to Ntomo masks. Size: 8.375" W x 26.25" H (21.3 cm x 66.7 cm)

According to Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi, Assistant Professor of Art History, Emory University, "Ntomo is one of many associations historically found in communities identified as Bamana, and its membership has usually consisted of young boys in the process of learning adult responsibilities. Not every Bamana community has always maintained or continues to maintain an Ntomo association, so the phenomenon is neither universal nor timeless (Colleyn 2009: 28). Reasons for staging a Ntomo performance have also varied, and performances have occurred at popular gatherings and other important events (Colleyn 2009: 28). Observers also report that Ntomo performers wear full-body masks, each consisting of a wooden face mask and cloth outfit." (Metropolitan Museum of Art website, 2016)

For another example of a Ntomo mask covered in cowrie snail shells, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 1978.412.368.

Provenance: ex-private Dr. Peter Horvath collection, Massachusetts and Florida, USA; purportedly Duke University Art Museum, deaccessioned, 1970s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#156720
Condition
...
Showing losses and wear, with light encrustations, otherwise in excellent condition with heavy patina from decades of use.

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