Hunter's Shirt (Primary Title)
Elaborately embellished shirts like this one are worn by Bamana hunters as testaments to their skill and bravery. Many different hunt-related items are sewn to this shirt, including animal tusks, claws, skins, and horns; leather packets enfolding verses from the Qu’ran; mirrors; and protective potions.
When the Bamana dress for the hunt, they wear simpler clothing that facilitates stealth and speed. Spectacular shirts like this one are prestige garments that great hunters wear to display their extraordinary prowess.
Hunters form an elite class among the Mande-speaking people of western Africa, including the Bamana. For example, Sunjata, the renowned Lion King, and his leading general, Fakoli, were both renowned hunters.
Spirit of the Motherland, Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, VA, September 1995 - January 1996; Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA, January - May, 1996
Secrecy: African Art that Reveals and Conceals, The Museum for African Art, New York, NY, March 1993
Nooter, Mary H. Secrecy: African Art that Conceals and Reveals. New York: The Museum for African Art, 1993. (No. 33, p. 104).
“The Ancient Art of Mali.” Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. (Poster)
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.