African art > Mask > Ci Wara Crest Mask
Ci Wara Crest Mask (N° 11837)
Saverio African Art Collection.
The graceful curves of this Ci Wara are available here in a rough, clear and matte wood. The stylized antelope, whose name Ci wara or Sogoni kunsogoni kun signifies "fauve of the earth" rises vertically from a base, its small on its back. The metal veneer that accompanies it on the head is dyed a beautiful turquoise blue, revealing in places an underlying red fabric. Pyrogravé motifs dot the horns and heads of the animals. 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.
The groups of craftsmen nyamakala , more specifically the blacksmiths named numu , are in charge of the sculpture of ritual objects, endowed with the nyama, occult energy. Using fire and magical objects, the role of healer and soothsayer is also assigned to them. Their powers are passed on to their wives, who alone have the right to produce pottery.