A stylized rendering of a human face with long narrow nose, round eyes set close to bridge of nose, and open, ellipitical mouth. The head is carved in shape of a coiffure that resembles a helmet which extends down the sides of the head. The head is topped with a high arched sagital crest. Patina is dark brown in color with traces of red and blue pigment. Sheet metal cut in circles and long strips embellish the top of the head.
This carved puppet head is part of the repertory of characters in the Sogo bò, a puppet masquerade performed by Bamana youth organizations. Still active today, Sogo bò--literally, “the animal comes forth”-- is an important dramatic venue for youth to explore and comment on the tensions between traditional values and contemporary experience. See also 1971/2.22 and 1971/2.23.
Carved wooden wand. A discoid grip at one end of the shaft, and a double-headed projection at the other.
A wand used in dances and ceremonies by Shango devotees. Shango is a deified king of Oyo, assoicated with lighting, storms, fire, aggression, divination, and kingship. The wand's double projection depicts "thunderstones": neolithic stone celts thought to be the remains of lightning bolts hurled by Shango. As dance paraphenalia, the wand is a focal point for devotees; a device that facilitates the trance state dancers enter during ceremonies.