Lot: 157

96th Auction

Standing female figure "jo nyeleni"

Mali, Bamana

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Merton Simpson, New York, USA
Olivier Castellano, Paris, France
H: 14.2 inch This object is not available anymore.

wood, metal, insect caused missing parts, base "Nyeleni" figures are property of the "jo" (also "dyow") - society. They are used during "numu jo" initiation performances that take place every seven years. During the performance, the initiate children are "killed" and fully formed men are "reborn" into the community as "children of jo" ("jodenw"). "Nyeleni" figures are carried by the "jodenw", or placed on the ground, during the "numu jo" performance of song and dance. "Numu jo" performances tour several villages so that the men can display their newly acquired knowledge and earn gifts of money from villagers.