African art > Mask > Ci Wara Crest Mask
Ci Wara Crest Mask (N° 11714)
In African art, the stylized antelope , hipporague, whose name ci wara signifying fath of the earth rises vertically. His body is covered with fine engraved ornamental motifs, in relation to Bambara mythology. Colored pompoms were attached to the holes in which the ears and nose are pierced. A native repair is visible on the neckline. Patina mated successive libations. Worn at the top of the skull and held in place by a sort of small basket, these cimiers accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tion , an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks bound the field as they leaped to drive out nyama, evil scents, and to detect any danger, or to flush out evil geniuses that could delight the souls of cultivated plants and the vital force of their seeds.
In central and southern Mali, the Bambara , Bamana or unbelievers, as the Muslims have named them, belong to the great Mande group, along with the Soninke and Malinke. Animists, they believe in the existence of a creative god generically called Ngala, who has 266 sacred attributes. One, every day of the 9 lunar months that lasts the gestation of a child. Ngala maintains the order of the universe. Its existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, who has given all the qualities to men and who grows the fruits of the earth.