BAMBARA Bamana CHI WARA Head Dress - African Tribal Art

Title Bamana Chi Wara Two Heads Antelope Mali Africa Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture Country of Origin Mali People Bamana Materials Wood, Pigment, Approximate Age 20th Century Other Dimensions 34 Inches H. x 12 inches W. Overall Condition Good. It has spent decades on at least two continents, and has been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. Damage/Repair Cracks, chips and general

The Bamana (also called Bambara) are among the largest ethnic groups in the Western Sudan style region. Because traditional life revolves around agriculture, issues concerning the cycles of nature and the productivity of farmers inform Bamana society and art. Knowledge of agriculture practices is transmitted from generation to generation through the Ci-wara (or Chiwara, Tyi Wara) society. The purpose of the Chi-wara society is to pay homage to successful farmers. Their rituals recall the legend of the mythic animal that could be (according to different regions) a roan antelope (Hippotragus Leucophaeus) or anteater, a pangolin (Manis temmincki) and a python or a mythic half man, half-animal creature called Ci-wara , who introduced agriculture to men. The Bamana people honor successful farmers through performances involving the appearances

Recommended Reading: Brett-Smith's THE MAKING OF BAMANA SCULPTURE-CREATIVITY AND GENDER, and superb examples in BAMANA-THE ART OF EXISTENCE IN MALI, edited by Colleyn.

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