African art > Mask > Masque Bamana
Ci wara Bambara horizontal crest (N° 18074)
The fifth initiation society Bambara , Bamana , is called tyiwara (here, cultivate, wara, fawn) and is still practiced today in some villages. These cimiers masks evoking the antelope, oryx or hippotrague daged depending on the case, come vertically and horizontally. Introducing themselves to the public in pairs, male and female, the wearers of the masks adopt a symbolic choreography in relation to agriculture. Belonging to the regional type Goso kun, emanating from the Bamako region, this horizontal crest is dotted with triangular incisions, patterns and hatches evoking the animal's coat. Its slender ears are punctured at regular intervals. Dark matte patina, abrasions and slight misses.
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Ported to 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.
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