African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bambara mask

Bambara mask (N° 23270)

Figurative version of the Ti-wara, Ci wara, in African art. An animal-genius having taught the Bambara to cultivate the land, the latter recall the myth through the most often stylized representation of an antelope, whose name ci wara means "wild of the earth". Matte brown patina, ocher residue.
The Bambara, Bamana, of central and southern Mali belong to the large Mande group, like the Soninke and the Malinke. Animists, they believe in the existence of a creator god Ngala coexisting with an androgynous god called Faro. Carried at the top of the skull and held in place by a kind of small basket, the crests accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tòn, an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks traversed the field while leaping in order to drive out from this one the nyama, malefic emanations, and to detect any danger, or to flush out the malevolent genies who could ravish the soul of the cultivated plants as well as the life force of their seeds.


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Originex-collection française
Material(s)wood, metal, cuir et crin
Height cm58
Depth24 cm
Width6 cm
Weight0.75 Kg

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