Jonyele Female Figure, Bamana Tribe, Mali
Wood carved female figure, beads around neck, shells around waist. Woven cloth covering around waist. Geometric pattern around face. Scarification on breast.
This is a classic Bamana Female Figure from Mali. Finely carved figures such as this represent a young maiden. She is identified as being a Jonyeleni, a member of an initiation society among the Bamana. Young women will carry sculptures such as this indicating that they are no longer children but mature women ready and available for marriage. The sculptures carried by the young women reflect the physical attributes of ideal beauty. This idealization of beauty is reflected in the scarification and body markings as well as her stylized coiffure and the jewelry and clothing attached to the figure to enhance their attractiveness.
Acquired in 2018 from the estate of Jacques Gansler
Dimensions Height: 28.5 Inches Width: 6 Inches Depth: 6 Inches