Masque, Bamana, Mali
- haut. 40,5 cm
- 16 in
Collection André Schoeller (1930-2015), Paris
Collection Viviane Jutheau, Comtesse de Witt, acquis en 1991
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Le masque du Ntomo joue un rôle socioculturel majeur chez les Bamana. Présent lors de toutes les grandes fêtes de réjouissance, son appréciation se fonde sur des critères esthétiques : « il doit être beau et le danseur talentueux» (Colleyn, Bamana, 2009, p. 28). Ici l'inventivité de l'artiste s'affirme dans l'exceptionnelle formulation du visage, dont le large plan s'anime sous la tension de la nervure médiane et dans le réseau des scarifications finement gravées, mises en valeur par la profonde patine d’usage.
Bamana mask, Mali
The diversity of forms that make up the corpus of the masks of the Ntomo is a testament to the inventiveness of Bamana artists. However, the freedom of interpretation by the artists was constrained by two fundamental criteria: the combination of an anthropomorphic face with a row of two to eight horns, the number of which show the type of mask (here the three horns identify a male mask), and the discretion of the mouth, which conveyed "The control of speech and the virtues of silence as set out in the main moralistic song of the Ntomo: Keep your mouth fast, keep your mouth fast, the mouth is the enemy" (Zahan, 1960 in Colleyn, Bamana, Un art et un savoir-vivre au Mali, 2002, p. 97).
The Ntomo mask plays a major sociocultural role for the Bamana. Present during all the major celebration festivals, its appreciation is based on aesthetic criteria: "it must be beautiful and the dancer talented" (Colleyn, Bamana, 2009, p. 28). Here the inventiveness of the artist asserts itself in the unique formulation of the face, the wide plane of which is animated by the tension of the central ridge and in the network of finely carved scarification, highlighted by a deep patina of use.