Puppet head

20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Mali


Overall: 20 x 6 x 7.5 cm (7 7/8 x 2 3/8 x 2 15/16 in.) Base: 5.6 X 5.8 X 5.8cm

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

wood, brass tacks, glass

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

Among the many Bamana art forms is sogo bò, a puppet masquerade theater shared with the Bozo and other neighboring peoples. Animal characters appear in vigorous and colorful performances, accompanied by singing and clapping. Organized by village youth associations, whose male and female members range from age fourteen to about thirty-five, the theater’s aim is entertainment, allowing young men and women to explore the moral universe and gain knowledge through play, humor, satire, and wit.


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