Art in Bambara Culture
Art holds a very special place in Bambara culture. To them every piece of art holds a significance in either a religious, societal, or technical way.
Statuary:Sculpting is seen as a man's art within Bambaran culture. Often blacksmiths are the sculptors in Bambaran culture where their work is of religious inspiration. Sculpting usually occurs in one of three major centers of fabrication, each of who's production differs. The three regions are Bamako, Bougouni, and Kinian. Examples of production include female statutes, fertility statues, marionettes for theatrical performances, masks for different societal purposes, and stylized models of antelope. Often Bambaran statue work would be created out of soft green woods. They also use gold and silver in their furnishings, plating them onto the wooden statues.eHRAF
Bambaran Statue

Ceramics were seen as a women's art form. Although so present in Bambaran society, men do not model with clay, just as women do not work on statuary. Pottery is done by women who belong to the blacksmith caste and is created in one of two ways. The ceramic creation can be molded by hollowing out a mass of clay with the help of a large cylindrical stone, or by rolling a cylinder of clay around a mold. The heating of the clay is done over an open air fire. eHRAF

Music is a privileged art among the Bambara. It is often used in religious ceremonies as well as in divinations and medicinal practice. Music is either sung or made by instruments of their own making. The chief instrument is the drum, also called the tabale. It was reserved for kings and chiefs and created from metal, often copper. The drums themselves were pieces of art, each being delicately crafted and stylized. They would contain engravings in the frame of the drum. The drumstick used to play the drum would also be adorned with bells. A second commonly used instrument was a guitar or ngoni. These guitars would have rectangular frames and eight strings. At the end of the handle there would be bells attached, just like on the drums, holding religious significance. Harps were often used in a variety of ceremonies including sacrifices, cathartic and medical rites, purifications, aprotropaic rites and solitary meditations. eHRAF
Bambara Djembe
Bambara Djembe