Vintage and Antique Tribal Art and Artifacts from The Americas.

A Bamana 'jonyeleni' figure

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre 1950: Item # 1031034

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michael cichon tribal arts
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P.O. Box 5919
Bradenton, FL 34281

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This standing figure represents a young woman in the time of the first origination of Jo, an elusive yet deeply rooted concept responsible for an organized social order and held in the highest regard by the Bamana. Such carved figures are "exaggerated in their form....always shining with oil and composed of flat surfaces, cubes, cones and cylinders which join up sharp angles. They are sculpted with their clothing, pearls, metal jewels, and scarifications on the body. They refer to the young girl in her ideal state, at her highest degree of physical attraction"....Kate Ezra, 1986, as quoted by N.Meyere. The figure measures 24.25" H (60.6 cm) and is in marvelous condition showing metal earrings and eyes. Fine, darkened, shiny patina overall. Early-mid 20th century, central Bamana region, Mali, West Africa. Provenance: Private Florida collection since the 1980's.