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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender Objectified: Revealing Bodies in Bamana Sculpture
Author:Van Dyke, Kristina
Periodical:Mande Studies
Geographic term:Mali
Subjects:gender relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Architecture and the Arts
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/44093487
Abstract:Elizabeth Grosz (1995) defines 'patriarchy' as follows: 'For patriarchs, difference is understood in terms of inequality, distinction, or opposition, a sexual difference modeled on negative, binary, or oppositional structures within which only one of the two terms has any autonomy; the other is defined only by the negation of the first'. This negatively defined notion of sexual difference is operative in Bamana culture, though in quite specific ways. The author attends to this cultural specificity by developing an understanding of the particular logic of Bamana patriarchy and considering how gender and art operate within and support this structure. She asks how artistic practices participate in social struggles and what meanings are produced, how and for whom. After exploring a key moment in gender construction and its parallels with knowledge structures in Bamana culture, she examines objects from the Bamana 'Jo' (an initiation society) and related 'Gwan' (a fertility association) of southern Mali to provide an example of how art can work to conceal the traces of gender production, naturalizing the resultant constructs and the patriarchal system in which they operate. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]