Delaire Graff Estate, Africa Nova- Jonyeleni Figure
Delaire Graff Estate, Africa Nova- Jonyeleni Figure

Jonyeleni Figure


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AFRICA NOVA
BambaraCentral Mali, c. 1950
Wood
1.07 kg | 46cm H x 11cm W x 10cm L
This fertility figure is identified as a Jonyeleni, and is associated with initiation ceremonies of the Bambara people. The figure symbolises an idealised beauty of marriage-aged women. Jonyeleni are primarily used during annual events that take place when the first rains of the year occur. The figures are removed from their sanctuaries by the elders, ritually cleaned, re-oiled and decorated with beads. This was done to ensure fertility — not only of the women in the community, but also of the farmlands and the earth.