MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Bamana Cloth Shawl
Object Name:
Shawl, Cloth, Clothing
Other Name:
Shawl, Vest, Bambara
Place of Origin:
Bamana (Bambara), Mali, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.

The Bambara numbering 2,500.000 million form the largest ethnic group within Mali. The triangle of the Bambara region, divided in two parts by the Niger River, constitutes the greater part of the western and southern Mali of today. The dry savanna permits no more than a subsistence economy, and the soil produces, with some difficulty, corn, millet, sorghum, rice, and beans. Their traditions include six male societies, each with its own type of mask. Initiation for men lasts for seven years and ends with their symbolic death and their rebirth. Nearly every Bambara man had to pass through these societies in succession, until, upon reaching the highest rank, he had acquired a comprehensive knowledge of ancestral traditions.
Armless cloth shawl, or vest. Decorated with cowrie shells in square—shaped patterns, and objects wrapped in thread. Thin vertical lines of black and reddish brown adorn entire cloth area. V—necked in front.
Guy Mace Collection, (Turblex Company)
Cloth W/Shells
Ritually Used
Weaving / Stitchery
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
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