I know exactly which statue in the Musee National du Mali you're talking about because it's the one that knocked my socks off and got me crazy about African arts when I saw him in 2006. (For others who have yet to see this amazing sculpture, check him out at the bottom of this page http://maliba.8m.com/Musee/boo.htm
This 'Hanbe' statue, according to the museum's attribution, is made by the Bwa (or Boo) who spread across Mali and Burkina Faso. Now I don't know much about the sculptural traditions of the Bwa and the Bobo (who are often confused with the Bwa), but I guess it's fair to say that both groups are much better known for their masks than figures.
Nevertheless, there are some beautiful examples in the Thomas Wheelock collection of Burkinabe art as shown
in the book "Land of the Flying Masks" (which you can get from Amazon.com for a very reasonable price), but none approaches the impressive size or verticality of Hanbe. It would be interesting to know what the authoritative Christopher Roy would think of him.
I would agree with your assumption that your figure is modeled after Hanbe. I also have a 3-feet version of him bought in the museum shop which now can be found in my bedroom. I know it's a copy, but still love to look and marvel at the genius of the people/culture that created this unique sculptural form. I hope yours gives you as much pleasure as I get from mine.
Happy New Year to all AA members!
neil Lobo <neilflobo@...> wrote:
Hello, I was in Mali last month and purchased this
wood sculpture from a village while on a research trip
(malaria research and not). It is about 5 feet tall
and the left arm is broken (where you can see a piece
of cloth tied). The man I got it from said that he got
it from a village near Segou. I dont think it is old
by any means. I saw a similar one at the Museum in
Bamako and thought this might be a copy. can anyone
tell me anything about it? or reference?
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