A striking head from a puppet, carved by a sculptor from the Bamana or Bozo people of Mali. The Bamana and Bozo make puppets of this type as part of elaborate masquerade spectacles called "Sogo Bo," or "The Beast Comes Forth." These performances feature rod puppets, masked dancers, and elaborate cloth and wood constructions simulating animals. The rod puppets and dancers either represent mythical creatures or familiar social types.
This head is boldly and confidently carved, with nice balanced proportions, crisp volumes, good symmetry and a dramatic presence. As is typical with Sogo Bo puppets, it has been painted with bright enamel paint. There are three different layers of paint, which indicates that it was used repeatedly in performances. The piece also retains the brightly-colored attachments and coiffure it wore in its last performance.
16 inches height x 4.5 inches width x 5 inches depth