The Marka are a Mande subgroup. This ethnic group is independent from the Bambara but their styles show a strong Bambara influence. The Marka are famous for their masks and puppets.Marka masks are often partly covered with metal sheeting and have elongated features, long nose, protruding mouth, eyes shadowed by a domed shape forehead and are decorated with tassels on the ears. This unique piece is covered with cowrie shells, beads and geometric patterns. The masks were used in two rituals, during the circumcision ceremony of adolescents, and when circumcised men advanced from one grade to another. Along the Niger River, the Marka use masks in ceremonies related to fishing and farming. This mask has some missing cowrie shells and beading (see photos), but overall is in great condition for its age. It is an incredible piece. Has wire and drilled hole at the top of mask for hanging.
Size: 19 1/2" H x 12" W
Place of origin: Mali
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