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

Ci Wara Bamana crest mask (N° 21411)

Traditional sculpture linked to the ci wara cult.
This symbolizes an animal-genius called Ciwara who is said to have taught the Bambara to cultivate the land. The Bamana remember the myth through the stylized representation of a hippotrague antelope, whose name ci wara means "false of the earth". The forms of these crests vary, however, across Mali from region to region. Dull patina. Abrasions and slight missing.
Worn on top of the skull and held in place by a sort of small basket, these crests accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tòn, an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks would leap around the field in order to chase away the nyama, evil effluvia, from it and to detect any danger, or to flush out evil genies that could take away the souls of the cultivated plants as well as the life force of their seeds.

Established in central and southern Mali, the Bamara," Bamana" or "unbelievers", as the Muslims have named them, belong to the large Mande group, along with the Soninke and Malinke. Animists, they believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, who is endowed with 266 sacred attributes. One for each day of the 9 lunar months required for the gestation of a child. Ngala maintains the order of the universe.  

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Sold for 300.00
 


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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyBambara
Countrymali
Material(s)wood
Height95
Depth28
Width7
Weight1.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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