<p>Do you know what Le vol du boli is about? I know it’s music from Mali since that’s his passion but is it considered a musical/opera, is there a plot line? Just super curious :)</p>

Damon Albarn

Groupe / Damon Albarn 31 Views comments

It’s based on a story of the theft by French ethnographer Michel Leiris in Mali in the 1930s of a boli (in the plural boliw) – a sacred object / animist fetish created the Bambara people. It’s a sort of sculpture resembling a simplified animal, made of various organic materials (wood, leaves, mud, leather, eggs, bone, hair, blood, urine). It allows to harness, accumulate and control a vital energy called the nyama – it’s a very powerful thing and very important for a community. Many boliw exist but the one stolen by Michel Lieris (who expressed remorse for taking it from Africa in his book ‘Phantom Africa’) is still on display in Paris, in the Quai Branly museum.
In a broader perspective ‘Le vol du boli’ is about the relationship between Europe and Africa.