210532 - Old Tribal used African Ci Wara Headdress - Mali.


Mali: Rare and old Tribal used African Ci Wara Headdress .

Hand carved from a single piece of wood.

Size: 37 cm.

carved wooden headdresses in the form of antelopes, like these examples, refer to the mythic culture hero Ci Wara, a divine force conceived of as half man and half antelope. Bamana oral traditions credit Ci Wara with introducing to humanity agricultural methods and an understanding of earth, animals, and plants. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Ci Wara was invoked and honored by members of a men’s agricultural association, also called ci wara, in village-wide performances that celebrated the skills of successful farmers. These performances featured a pair of dancers wearing sculpted headdresses, one representing a male antelope and the other a female. They held sticks in their hands to paw the earth just as the mythic Ci Wara did when he first taught men to plant seeds