Zoomorphic Figure (Boli)

A work made of wood, cloth, mud, and sacrificial material.

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  • A work made of wood, cloth, mud, and sacrificial material.

Date:

Mid–19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Bamana
Mali
Northern Africa and the Sahel

About this artwork

The name boli refers to a type of Bamana power object, such as the one shown here that resembles a bush cow or hippopotamus. Each example typically consists of a wooden core wrapped in layers of cotton cloth that are then covered with sacrificial materials including animal blood, plant extracts, and dirt. A boli is commissioned and cared for by a power association like Kono or Komo in order to harness spiritual energy for protective or therapeutic purposes.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Bamana

Title

Zoomorphic Figure (Boli)

Origin

Mali

Date

1850–1925

Medium

Wood, cloth, mud, and sacrificial material

Dimensions

H. 43.8 cm (17 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harold X. Weinstein

Reference Number

1961.1177

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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