Peoples & Societies


The Bamana peoples are the largest ethnic group in the Republic of Mali. Primarily farmers, these Mande-speaking peoples of the Niger savannah strongly resisted Islam and were known as bambara, or pagans, by the Muslim invaders. Bamana artists work in mud-dyed cloth, wood, iron, bronze, and brass to make ritual objects, masks, and tools.

Adapted from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 300.

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