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Nyeleni figure

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1000667Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition_portrait/public/multimedia/2008.4.21_gb04261.jpg?itok=FdDQHc9NPhoto : Guillaume Boutigny
13282000Nyeleni figureIn Bamana language, Nyeleni means « favourite » .Nyeleni figureIn Bamana language, Nyeleni means « favourite » .Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition/public/multimedia/2008.4.211_f_0.jpg?itok=B9pvjCelLe Havre Museum of Natural History – Photo credit : C. Livonnen
1000664It is associated with fertility, fecundity, and good relations with the Elders.It is associated with fertility, fecundity, and good relations with the Elders.Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition_portrait/public/multimedia/2008.4.211_b.jpg?itok=qbAvj-XBLe Havre Museum of Natural History – Photo credit : C. Livonnen
13282000This type of figure is used during Djo (initiation) celebrations, where it is decorated with many ornaments.This type of figure is used during Djo (initiation) celebrations, where it is decorated with many...Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition/public/multimedia/2008.4.211_c.jpg?itok=H1dLDWc-Le Havre Museum of Natural History – Photo credit : C. Livonnen
13282000DetailsDetailsZoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition/public/multimedia/2008.4.211_d.jpg?itok=gQGxfQYTLe Havre Museum of Natural History – Photo credit : C. Livonnen
13282000The newly initiated Bamanas would dance for these figures, asking them to warrant fertility, fecundity, and good relations with the Elders.The newly initiated Bamanas would dance for these figures, asking them to warrant fertility,...Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition/public/multimedia/2008.4.211_e.jpg?itok=vnlhdKqiLe Havre Museum of Natural History – Photo credit : C. Livonnen
1000667Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition_portrait/public/multimedia/2008.4.21_gb04215.jpg?itok=c-Ic6YIoPhoto : Guillaume Boutigny

Female Nyeleni figure

 

  • Origin : Mali

  • Ethnic group : Bamana

  • Date : 19th century (before 1893)

  • Materials : wood, glass casting, iron, vegetable fibres

  • Dimensions : 41.2 cm x 11 cm
  • Inventory number : 2008.4.211
  • Donated by General Archinard, early 20th century

In Bamana language, Nyeleni means « favourite » . This stylised image of a forever young, beautiful woman is mostly used during Djo (initiation) celebrations, where it is washed, purified, anointed, and exhibited.

On this occasion, it is decorated with many ornaments (bracelets, earrings...) which are still on this specimen – a rare fact – and sometimes clothes.

The newly initiated Bamanas would dance for these figures, asking them to warrant fertility, fecundity, and good relations with the Elders.

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