Requires Photography

Ram's Head Marionette

African, Mali, Bamana peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Mali


Overall: 48 x 21 x 9 cm (18 7/8 x 8 1/4 x 3 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

wood, paint

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

This ram puppet is typical of the types of puppets used during Sogo Bo masquerades. The masquerades are performed by village youth associations and feature both animal and human puppets. The dancers, who mimic the behaviors of the animals they represent, do not speak and are accompanied by drummers and singers. The masquerades are a source of moral commentary and they reflect on human relationships.

The ram, one of many bush animal masquerades, is noted for its distinct muzzle and curved horns.


Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart