African art > ci-wara > Ci wara mask
Large mask Ci wara of Bamana (N° 17950)
Ex-collection French African art.
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This variant of the African sculpture Ci Wara of the Bambara, Bamana, forms a decorative element prized by collectors. Its dimension here is larger than usual. It would rather be in this case a piece intended for an altar. Striations engraved on the surface show the peeling, and a copper loop adorns an ear. Matt patina.
Sculpted by the blacksmith numu, also playing the role of diviner and healer, this vertical, stylized crest is represented here with successive arches representing the mane of a male antelope. It would be an animal - genie called Ciwara who would have taught the Bambara to cultivate the land. The Bambara remember the myth through the stylized representation of a hippotrague antelope, whose name ci wara means "earth tiger". Worn on the top of the skull and held in place by a basketry toque, these crests accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tòn, an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks would run across the field, jumping up and down to chase away the nyama, the evil scent, and to detect any danger, or to flush out the evil geniuses who could ravish the souls of the cultivated plants as well as the vital force of their seeds.
Sold for 490.00 €
This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity
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