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Ntomo mask – Wood – Bambara – Mali


Out of stock

SKU: 26.155 Category: Tags: , ,

This N’tomo mask is a real sculpture achievement because it is made from a single piece of wood, without assembly.
In a refined style, it is covered with a beautiful matte patina and topped with 9 stylistic horns.
The specific number of spikes or horns indicates whether the mask is masculine, feminine or androgynous: in Bamana numerology, multiples of three indicate masculinity, four and eight indicate femininity and two, five and seven are associated with androgyny. Thus, this mask is masculinity.
It is used during initiation rites undergone by the young boys, allowing them to reach the secret society N’ Tomo. This one is a part of six secret societies which they can enter from the age of seven years.
Good condition with a nice aged patina. Contains traces of tribal use. The top part of the mask is damaged.

Provenance: Justin Barthels (1934-2021), gallery owner Maastricht (NL). Ex owner of a Salampasu mask DR Congo Estimated 60.000 – 90.000 USD by Sotheby`s. Source: (

Object:  Ntomo Mask
Ethnic group: Bambara
Country: Mali
Material: Wood
Estimated period: Mid 20th century
Sold with stand: No
Dimensions: 48x31x13 cm
Weight: 1300 gram
Condition: Good condition, used with some signs of wear


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