The rich puppet theatre of Mali, using sculpted figures which represent a large variety of characters, including animals, spirits or legendary figures, perform in festivals to teach children folktales, legends, and morals. The attributes of hunters, warriors, and heroes are also celebrated. These sculptures are sometimes attached to a cloth body, creating a gigantic animal that served as a mobile stage for performances organized by youth associations. Young men would animate the giant animal from within, while young women and other members of the community would encircle it, dancing and singing. This theatrical tradition is known by different names in different regions. One of its names is Sogo bo "the animal comes forth". The puppets are also used in harvest and fishing celebrations. This exceptional piece features a human figure with articulated arms mounted atop a wheeled lizard figure.
32"Long x 21"H x 11"W