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Puppet

Artist
Unidentified Bamana artist
Date
1960s
Material
Wood, pigment, animal hair, metal, cloth, fiber
Associated with
Ségou region, Western Africa and the Guinea Coast, Mali, Africa
Classification
Sculpture
Current Location
On View, Gallery 102
Dimensions
24 x 36 1/2 in. (61 x 92.7 cm)
Credit Line
Partial gift of Thomas Alexander and Museum Shop Fund
Rights
Contact Us
Object Number
189:1994
NOTES
This puppet is constructed with moveable joints, allowing both the horse and rider to strike a variety of gestures and poses. Puppeteers work from behind a cloth screen to operate the puppets, up to five feet from the ground. Part of a genre known as “the animals come forth” ("sogo bò"), this puppet was used to entertain children and young adults. Sogo bò is a tradition shared among several cultural groups in the Ségou Region of central Mali. This type of puppetry, which originated prior to 1890, is particularly suited to inventiveness and change, and continues to evolve through new performances into the present day. Secular in character, the performances are owned and enacted by members of the "kamalen ton," the young men’s society.
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