Tribal art > African mask > Ci Wara Crest
Cephalomorphic Crest Ci Wara kun Bamana (N° 16485)
Ex-collection French tribal art.
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African art of blacksmith craftsmen "numu".
This sculpture with straight lines, clean, has holes at the base of the neck, which allowed it to be fixed by means of raffia ties on the basket hat placed on the head. Mate oiled patina. It would be an animal -genius called Ciwara who would have taught the Bambara to cultivate the land. They recall the myth through the stylized representation of a hippotrague antelope, whose name ci wara means "fauve of the earth".Carried at the top of the skull and held in place by a kind of small basket, these cimiers accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tun , association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks roamed the field, leaping away from the nyama, evil scents, and detecting any danger, or to hunt down evil geniuses that could delight the souls of cultivated plants and the vital force of their seeds.
Established in central and southern Mali, the Bambara ," Bamana " or " unbelievers ", as the Muslims have named them, belong to the large Mande group, along with the Soninke and Malinke. Animists, they believe in the existence of a creative god generically called Ngala, who is endowed with 266 sacred attributes. One, every day of the 9 lunar months required for the gestation of a child. Ngala maintains the order of the universe. His existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, who gave all the qualities to men and who grows the fruits of the earth.
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