BAMBARA N'DOMO INITIATION MASK

 

 


N'DOMO
MASK
20th Century

Bambara Peoples, Mali
Wood, pigment, 17 x 6 1/2 in.
Extended Loan Bernald Family Collection
L2003.043.040

The n'domo mask is used by the Bambara peoples in the second of seven initiation rituals for boys that involve circumcision, guidence in appropriate behavior, and the revelation of the mysteries of the "great ancestor." The seven vertical elements at the top of the mask capture the wisdom of the cosmos, the bulging forehead denotes intelligence, and the long nose is expressive of vitality.


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