R4M8M002S.jpg (34463 bytes)R4M8M002.jpg (47368 bytes)Marka (Warka), Mali

Ceremonial mask. The 400,000 Marka are a Mande subgroup. This ethnic group is independent from the Bambara but their styles show a strong Bambara influence.  They live in the region that extends from the north of the Bambara to the Senegalese border.  They live principally from agriculture with some subsidiary cattle. The dry savanna permits no more than a subsistence economy, and the soil produces, with some difficulty, millet, rice, and beans. The Marka are famous for their masks and puppets. Marka masks are often partly covered with metal sheeting. The Marka dress their masks in gaily-colored costumes made of cloth. The masks were used in two rituals, during the circumcision ceremony of adolescents, and when circumcised men advanced from one grade to another. Along the Niger River the Marka use the masks in ceremonies related to fishing and farming.

Material:  wood, metal sheeting, cowries, beads, seeds, cotton tassels

Size:  H. 25”, W. 13”, D. 7”