Rod puppet consisting of a wooden tube or rod with two articulated arms and a head attached. It is possible that the costume is missing. The carved head is decorated with paper overlay, and red and black pigment. It has two button eyes, and metal plating, which possibly forms a headdress. Twisted textile cord links the various parts.
Likely a Bamana puppet, these are very important components of the socialising of young people in Bamana society. Through performances of puppet displays, the rules and rites are passed on to new generations. Generally called ‘sogo bo’ [or bwo] (“the animals come forth”), the performances are entertaining but also pass on a moral lesson to the new generations. A famous and popular contemporary puppeteer in Mali is Yaya Coulibaly, who regularly performs with his group at the National Museum in Bamako.