About this object

Figures like this were made by blacksmiths, who were also sculptors of wood. Initiated blacksmith youths would have oiled and dressed them in the manner of unmarried women. The youths displayed them during dances to show that they were looking for brides. Hutchings considered that a single figure of this type was enough to represent Malinke ‘art’ as a whole in the museum. In making his case to purchase it he said: “These figures are the most important art productions of the Malinke, and we shall probably need to buy nothing else from this group.”

Object specifics

  • Type
    Figure
  • Culture
    Bamana or Malinke
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Western Africa: Mali
  • Date made
    1966 before
  • Materials
    Wood; Metal
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Purchased From Gallery 43, 1966
  • Collector
    Philip Goldman
  • Place collected
    Africa: Western Africa: Mali
  • Date collected
    1966 before
  • Measurements
    480 mm x 136 mm x 180 mm
  • Note
    STOCKBOOK: Figure (Malinke). Purchased from Gallery 43, 43 George Street, London, W.1. in 1966 by Richard Hutchings, Keeper of Ethnography, with War Damage Fund. Gallery label: Figures like this were made by blacksmiths, who were also sculptors of wood. Initiated blacksmith youths would have oiled and dressed them in the manner of unmarried women. The youths displayed them during dances to show that they were looking for brides.
  • Related people
    Philip Goldman ( Collector)
Object view = Humanities
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