Seated female figure (jonyeleni)
African, Bamana peoples, Mali
45.72 cm (18 in.)
Medium or Technique
Wood, beads, and metal
Richard B. Carter Gallery (Gallery 171)
Featured in Jo and Gwan society events linked to initiation, healing, and social responsibilities, idealized female figures such as this one vary in size and style, from geometric angularity to more rounded forms. This seated figure with appended earrings and beads is probably from the Segou region, though it is less elongated than some others. It shows the characteristic pointed breasts with scarification, paddlelike hands and arrow-shaped nose. Geometric incising bands the face and defines the surface of the coiffure.
Ralph Nash, London. Simone de Monbrison (dealer), Paris. Lee Bronson, Los Angeles. October 5, 1983, sold by Pace Primitive and Ancient Art, New York (stock no. 51-4883) to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1996, partial gift of William and Bertha Teel to the MFA; 2014, acquired fully with the bequest of William Teel to the MFA. (Accession Dates: December 18, 1996 and February 26, 2014)
NOTE: Provenance information was provided by Pace Gallery at the time of the Teels' purchase.
Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel