African art > African Statues > Sculpture Bamana
Grand Tyiwara, ci wara, vertical (N° 18175)
Deployed in an imposing format, this sculpture linked to the cult ci wara symbolizes an animal - genius called Ciwara who would have taught the Bambara to cultivate the land. The latter recall the myth through the stylized representation of a hipporague antelope, whose name ci wara signifies of the earth. The shapes of these cimiers, however, vary from region to region across Mali. This sculpture was probably intended for an altar. Dark skate, mate. Abrasions and cracks.
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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.
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, which is endowed with 266 sacred attributes. One, every day of the 9 lunar months that requires the gestation of a child. Ngala maintains the order of the universe.
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