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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Marionette Head of a Bird

Marionette Head of a Bird

20th century

Through its snapping beak, this bird once had a lot to say. It honors the independence of Mali from France, and reminds everyone that birds both walk and fly, uniting heaven and earth, people and their destiny. Puppets are performed by youth groups, who also cast satirical characters such as Madame Sarata (a flirt) and Taasi Dooni (“reflect a little”).

Wood, pigment
L.: 21in. (53.3cm)
Gift of Mark Groudine and Cynthia Putnam, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Is Egyptian Art African?, June 2, 1998 - July 30, 1999

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle", May 5, 2007 - September 9, 2007

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM