African, Bamana peoples, Mali
20th century, about 1960
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Mali


Overall: 55 x 34 x 15 cm (21 5/8 x 13 3/8 x 5 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments


Musical instruments

Among the many objects that arrived in the McMillan Collection through Bamako is this sistrum, a musical instrument. Long overlooked, these works first came to the attention of American collectors when such an instrument appeared in a 1960 catalogue and exhibition devoted to the Bamana at New York’s Museum of Primitive Art.


1960s, sold by Mr. Coulibaly (probably Amadou Coulibaly; dealer), Bamako, Mali to 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