The Making of Bamana Sculpture describes both the techniques and the rituals used by Bamana blacksmiths in Mali, West Africa, when they carve sacred sculpture. Chronicling the process of decision-making that results in a commission, it provides a detailed account of the carving process and also analyses the meaning of this process. Sarah Brett-Smith demonstrates that Bamana sculptors compare the process of producing a ritual object both to sexual intercourse and to childbirth. Her study details how Bamana sculptors become 'great' artists, how this process requires a shift from a 'male' to a 'female' gender identity, and why the Bamana believe that the ambitious artist must make tragic sacrifices to win renown.Read more
- Addresses ritual and gender-related issues, presenting new and unique material on women carvers
- Makes extensive use of word-for-word translations of field data
- Accessible on an emotional as well as intellectual level to undergraduate-level students
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- Date Published: October 1995
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521444842
- length: 376 pages
- dimensions: 260 x 208 x 27 mm
- weight: 1.065kg
- contains: 60 b/w illus.
- availability: Unavailable - out of print
Table of Contents
1. The Bamana universe
2. The sculptor speaks with spirits: the other world
3. The human world
4. Trees and tools
5. Carving and aesthetics
6. Sacred secrets
7. 'The foundation of the world is with women'.
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