Overall: 19.7 cm (7 3/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1985.199
While we don’t know who made this work, it can be hypothesized that it was a woman; today, as in much of Africa, potters in Mali are female.
Figures like this would have been used in rituals by the ancestors of the present-day inhabitants of the Inland Niger Delta. Representing the gods and kings or queens associated with the region’s former residents, the figures received prayers and offerings in exchange for their support. The seated position of this male has been interpreted as a harmful pose intended to bring death to an individual.
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