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The figures are an idealization of youthful feminine beauty. Such standing, female figures were called 'Nyeleni' oder 'Jo-Nyeleni' (this translates as 'small, beautiful girl') by the Bambara people in the Mali savanna. The aesthetic beauty of such works is heightened by the addition of beads or metal accessories and oil, which is rubbed into the figure to produce a lustrous surface.

Culture and Traditions

Bamana is a member of the Mande culture, a large and powerful group of people in western Africa. Kaarta and Segou are Bamana city-states, which were established in the 17th century and continued to have political influence throughout the western Sudan states into the 19th century.

Donation Details

Kenneth T. Ward donated in the year 1991.


The Appraised Amount is $ 2000.00.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

J. B . Coleman Library


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