This remarkable sculpture represents the Bambara's ideal of feminine beauty and the beauty of motherhood. Her conical hat is pointed, with two long braids hanging down on either side of the shoulders interwoven with feathers. Her breasts are very large and full for the newborn infant to suckle. The patina encrusted from decades of ritual offerings creates a milky color suitable to maternity. During the feasts of dyo and the fertility ritual of the gwan, seated figures are brought out and exhibited. Statues of women with children are kept in shrines and carefully cleaned, oiled and decorated with clothing and beads. They serve as role models of motherhood to young female initiates, representing not only the desirable physical attributes a young girl should admire, but also the demeanor, poise and bearing of a proud mother. This powerful sculpture certainly contains those revered qualities, and something else which the mystery of art makes indefinable.