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Bamana Mask


We love Marjan's talent for finding eclectic tribal art works.  The story behind each piece is a fascinating window into another culture.


Among the Bamana, oral traditions credit a mythical being named Ci Wara, a divine being half mortal and half antelope.  Under Ci Wara's guidance, humans first learned to cultivate land and became prosperous farmers. When humans gradually became careless and wasteful, Ci Wara is said to have buried himself in the earth. To honor Ci Wara's memory, the Bamana created boli, a power object in which his spirit resides, carving the headdresses such as these to represent him.  The elegant and tapered heads of the sculptures, along with the neck, ears, and horns are modelled on the antelope. The lower part refers to the aardvark.  With finely incised geometric patterns, these headdresses characterize the interplay between positive and negative space.

Origin: Mali


Marjan Ertefai runs an interior design and architectural practice based in the FrenchAlps. An experienced traveller and avid collector of tribal arts, she believes art plays a central role in defining a space. She takes an intuitive approach to her design process, combining iconic furniture and objects of the past with contemporary pieces and indigenous arts from around the world.

Her relationship with talented artisans and resourceful foraging play an integral role in each project. The goal is not to create a template style, but to design a space that is personal, telling a story about its owner.

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