Lot: 141

Female figure with child "jo mooni" or "gwan dusu"

Mali, Bamana

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Bertil Berg, Gothenburg, Sweden
Michel Gaud, Saint Tropez, France
H: 20.5 inch 8500 EUR / 12000 EUR

wood, rich blackish brown patina, slightly dam. (right side of the head), rep. (breakage: left heel), base. Sculptures are an important part of the "jo" initiation society rites and of the "gwan" cult, which is often associated with the "jo". The figures named "gwan dusu" are intended to convey the ideal image of a woman. This includes the representation of mother and child, which embodies fertility in family and community. The purpose of the"Gwan" cult is primarily to help women who have problems with fertility or birth. On the day of the "gwan", which takes place at the beginning of the rainy season, the sculptures are taken out of the house and into the village square where they are asked for advice by the women who seek help, washed, anointed with shea butter, and adorned with pearls. The women promise to give "gwan" more sacrifices if their wish to have children comes true and to devote their children to them. “Gwan” refers to the furnaces used by the blacksmith to melt iron, and the relationship between gwan, feminine fertility, and iron smelting has fascinating parallels with rituals in many parts of Africa.

Lucas Ratton, Bambara, Parcours des Mondes, Paris 2017, Ill. 46 f. Exhibited:

Lucas Ratton, Bambara, Parcours des Mondes, Paris 12 - 17 September 69382017