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Bamana Marionette

Besides their superb abstract masks and sculptures, the Bamana (or Bambara) of Segou are know for their rollicking village theatre pieces with puppets. They are performed on a moveable cloth-hung stage out of which carvings of people and animals emerge, controlled by a group of puppeteers. Motifs of beautiful, generous women, surly fanatic Muslim clerics, tourists, anthropologists and outrageous ethnic stereotypes of neighboring tribes are presented. This example of perhaps Fulani people riding a horse has waving arms and legs attached to pull strings.

height - 25"

click for enlargement

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