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All contents are Copyright © Stephen Foster or are part of The John M Blundall Collection, unless stated otherwise.


Millet Grinder - Mali, Africa

Mali is rich in puppet traditions, particularly those seen in the masquerades of the Baman and Bozo of Kirango, a village on the banks of the river Niger north east of the city of Begou, in Mali.

Puppeteers dance with giant puppets in the form of mythical animals, some of them bearing small rod puppets on their backs.

Sigi, the male bush buffalo, symbolises strength and the power of tradition. The rectangular form of its body conceals several puppeteers with small puppets representing Saro, the water god, a crocodile, a fisherman in his boat, and women pounding millet.

Their performance is accompanied by a group of drummers.

Millet grinder, string operated puppet, 20th century


Wood and fabric