Lot: 127

85th Tribal Art Auction

Mask "ntomo"

Mali, Bamana

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
American Collection H: 24.6 inch 1500 EUR
plus 21 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, matt blackish brown patina, characteristic form with seven crowning horns (= androgynous type), free carved filigree plaits flanking the face, incised ornaments, old collection number "B.69.17" handwritten in white paint on the backside, slightly dam. (nose tip), rep. (two tines and ear tip left hand side, plait on the right), abrasion of paint; the "ntomo" is an initiation society for children. The "ntomo" starts with the beginning of the harvest season in november. In the subsequent dry season the novices visit the surrounding villages begging for alms and food. This is where the mask of "ntomo" frequently appears. The unobstrusive mouth part of the mask emphasizes the central message of the "ntomo", namely the value of silence and the art of speaking deliberately.