Art of the Bamana Blacksmith

by Patrick McNaughton
Indiana University

Door lock and carved wooden breasts, Bamana peoples, Mali. Photo by Patrick McNaughton. 

This lock and the carved wooden panel displaying two large breasts were presented to the owner as part of her wedding trousseau. It’s nearly half a century old and constant handling has caused it to develop a thick, rich patina. The owner considers it to be extremely beautiful, and in addition, it serves as a warm and loving market of nostalgia and emotion for her.