Bambara skull fetish
Komo society, Bambara, Mali, 1900-1950
Human skull, blood, earth, textile, brain remains
Height : 14 cm
Provenance : Max Itzikovitz, Paris (collected in Sikasso)
Galerie Kanaga, Paris
Publication : "Golgotha"
(M. Doustar, 2014), n°76
The Komo is one, and the most important, of the six male institutions in the Bambara culture. The term refers to the concept formed in each village by its members, living and deceased, the shrine and the altars (boli), the leader of the cult, and the mask. Its essential purpose is to keep up the worship of God, the One Creator, and to ensure the preservation and spread of traditional knowledge in the fields of nature and culture. The entry is obligatory for all young boys who have undergone circumcision : the practice and the teaching received assure gradually their religious, cultural, social and political education.
The most important ceremony, called “Anniversary of the Komo”, is held just before the rainy season. It includes some sacrifices performed for the cemetary in honour of the ancestors, and divinatory rites. Furthermore, each Komo is depositary of some immovable and movable goods : shrines, elds, mask, ritual objects, musical instruments, tools, etc.
This very rare and all the more mysterious object was part of this ritual material. Its abstract shape, dark crusty patina, and powerful properties, make it a condensed and fascinating testimony of ancient African cosmogonies.
Price : 8.500 euros