Lot 113 (Garden Natural History and Tribal Art, 25th September 2018)

Sold for £2,000

Lot details

Tribal: Boli Power Object, Bamana People, Mali 57cm high. A rough, cracked surface obscures exact identification of the organic and inorganic materials assembled to create the boli (pl.: boliw), or power object, shown here. Such objects play an essential role within Bamana spiritual life. Boliw have attracted much attention from Western observers due to their amorphous forms and unusual materials. The bulbous and amorphous shape is rather idiosyncratic within the repertoire of Bamana art. Boliw are composed of a wooden armature "core" wrapped in white cotton cloth, around which clay and sacrificial materials are encrusted. This boli has four short "legs" upon which it sits, as well as a single hump rising from the top. The creature that a boli represents is unidentifiable, but many take on the loose zoomorphic form suggested by this work, while others may be anthropomorphic. From the collection of Simon du Chastel de la Howardie (1926-2014)