Four clay pipes (to the left) depicting people of African descent dated back to the mid 1800s, one British.
-- Bambara Elder's Pipe: To the right is a fine item, approximately 150 years old -- from the Bambara Tribe in Mali, West Africa. This is an elder's or chief's pipe, approximately 10" long and shows use and character. The bowl is metal lined and is reinforced with metal on the mouthpiece.
BACKGROUND: The Bambara speak "Bamana", which is one of the Manding languages. Bamana is widely spoken in Mali, especially in the areas of business and trade. During the 1700's, there were two Bambara kingdoms: Segu and Karta. In the 1800's, aggressive Muslim groups overthrew these kingdoms, leaving only a few anti-Muslim Bambara to oppose their occupation. This lasted forty years until the arrival of the French. Only 3% of the Bambara had become to Islam by 1912. After World War II, the number of Muslim coverts grew due to their resistance to the French and their exposure to Muslim merchants. The Bambara are 70% Muslim today.