African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bamana mask
Crest mask Ci wara kun Bambara (N° 19471)
The Ti-wara, Ci wara, in African art.
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It would be an animal - genius called Ciwara who would have taught the Bambaras to cultivate the land. They remember the myth through the stylized representation of a hippotrague antelope, whose name ci wara means " fawn of the earth". Decorated on the head and flanks with metal veneers engraved with repoussé, the ears and muzzle are further embellished with cotton tassels, pearls and cowrie shells. The tips of the horns are also wrapped in leather and lined with horsehair. Successive arches show the wide neck bearing a mane. The characteristics make it possible to attribute it to the stylistic canons of the Segou region. Velvety matte patina.br />
Carried on the top of the skull and held in place by a kind of small basket, these crest accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tòn , an association dedicated to agricultural work.
The masks ran across the field, leaping up and down to chase away the evil scent of nyama and to detect any danger, or to flush out the evil geniuses who could ravish the souls of the cultivated plants and the life force of their seeds.
Established in central and southern Mali, the Bambara ," Bamana " or " unbelievers ", as the Muslims 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 has 266 sacred attributes. One, for each day of the 9 lunar months that a child is born. Ngala maintains the order of the universe. Her existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, who gave all the qualities to men and who makes the fruits of the earth grow.
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|Material(s)||wood, cuir, perles, cauris, metal, coton|
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