The N'Tomo Society is organized into 5 year long age grades through which boys must pass before they are circumcised
& emerge as educated men. Physical courage is also stressed. Each initiate owns a whip made of a long branch. If a boy cries or complains
after a ritual blow from a peer, he is considered a coward. Uncircumcised Bamana (or Bambara) children are considered androgynous, & are filled with
a chaotic energy called wanzo. N'Tomo is "the mother of the wanzo"
& its primary role is the control & containment of the wanzo. After circumcision, boys are considered fertile & responsible adults. The wanzo
energy is transferred to the mask. The masquerade shows how man
moves from his original innocence to a greater knowledge of the world.
Height: 26 ½" x Width: 6 ¼" x Depth: 5 ½"