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Bamana Kore hobby horse

Bamana Kore hobby horse
Bamana Kore hobby horseBamana Kore hobby horseBamana Kore hobby horseBamana Kore hobby horse
Tribe: Bamana
Country: Mali
Ritual: Kore
Name: Kore Duga
Materials: Wood, horse hair
Provenance: Collected Andrew Turley, Segou, Mali 2007
Comments: The finely carved ears reflect the long mule like ears of many Kore masks. The “saddle” has also been finely carved in patterns reminiscent of Islamic influence. The horse is well carved with strong aesthetics but there is no indication of excessive age. I believe it dates circa 1970-80.

A Kore Duga (horse) dancer wears a wooden mask. In one hand he would carry a long wooden sword, and in the other he manipulates his “mount”, a wooden hobby horse.

Wearing masks an net costumes from which dangled bits of calabash shell, iron, fruit husks and other objects, members of the Kore Duga group would descend on the village riding this “horse”. Their antics broke every taboo to remind the village of inappropriate behaviours – they parodied sexual behaviour, smashed implements and devoured everything they could lay their hands on.


  1. African Masks of the Barbier Mueller Collection. Prestel Verlag Munich. 1998.
  2. A History of Art in Africa, Harry N. Abrams Inc, New York. 2001
  3. The Tribal Arts of Africa, Jean-Baptiste Bacquart, Thames & Hudson, 1998