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Tribal art > African mask > Ti wara mask

Ci wara Bamana/Bozo polychrome crest mask (N° 21667)

Polychrome declensions of the Ci Wara in African art
.
. From a quadrangular base rises a monoxyl sculpture evoking the hippotrague antelope . Multicolored geometric patterns and graphic symbols are painted on the object, probably related to the sixteen signs used in geomancy by the Bambara. The zigzag lines would represent the movements of the sun, certain angles representing the cardinal points, each additional element participating in the reading of these signs. Vivid polychrome sandy patina.
It would be 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 hippotrague antelope, whose name ci wara means "wilderness of the earth". Worn on top of the skull and held in place by a kind of small basket, these crest tyiwara accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tòn , an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks would leap around the field to drive away nyama , evil scents, and to detect any danger or flush out evil genies that might take away the souls of the plants grown or the life force of their seeds.  

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OriginCollection P. Malisse
EthnyBambara
Countrymali
Material(s)wood
Height cm90
Width27 cm
Weight2.50 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°

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