A female Ci wara (Bamana) antelope headdress, Ségou region, rising from a rectangular base, short legs supporting the almost cylindrical body with a tapering tail, a young calf sitting upon the female’s back, the elongated neck supporting the downturned faceted head, in the pierced ears wearing green beads and strings, the head crowned by high towering long horns, the whole Ci wara is covered with numerous incised ornaments; dark brown patina, traces of age and ritual use.
"Ci wara performances encourage Bamana farmers as they work in the fields and praise their efforts after they have returned to the village when the work is complete. The performances always feature a pair of headdresses, one male and one female, worn by two skilled young male dancers. The male and female ci wara serve as multifaceted metaphors for the elemental forces upon which all humanity depends. The infant on the female's back has been interpreted as the embodiment of humanity and as a visual treatise on the relationship between the powerful Sun (the male) and the gentle, nurturing Earth (the female). It has also been suggested that the openwork zigzag carving of the male figure's neck and mane invokes the sun's corona and its radiance. The performers' costumes are made of long raffia fibers that stretch from the base of the headdress to the ground and have been darkly dyed. The raffia fibers sway and bounce as the skilled performer executes his choreographed movements, which are intended to mimic those of the antelope. The undulations of the raffia costume are also a subtle reference to water and add to the overall metaphor of the performance as a convergence of the elemental forces of sun, earth, and water. The masquerade performances begin outside the village in the fields and gradually travel to the village center. Women also play an integral part during the masquerading ceremonies by singing songs of praise for Ci Wara and the hard-working farmers."
Lit.: MetMuseum, Art Collection, Headdress Male Antelope (Ci Wara); Jean-Paul Colleyn: Bamana: The Art of Existence in Mali, Museum for African Art, New York 2001; Jean-Paul Colleyn: Bamana. Visions of Africa, Milan 2009.
500 - 600,- Euro
Height: 76 cm Weight: 1,3 kg
Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.
Use left/right arrows to navigate the slideshow or swipe left/right if using a mobile device