Ci Wara Antelope Headdress. Bamana, Mali

SKU: D788


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Description of Significance:

  • Ci Wara masks are unique crest masks designed to sit atop a dancer's head during performances. Typically, the dancer's body is obscured by a costume, allowing the focus to remain on the intricately carved and adorned mask.
  • The Ci Wara form has gained worldwide recognition as one of the most iconic and widely reproduced forms of African art. These contemporary Ci Wara pieces are expertly crafted and pay homage to the traditional headdresses used in ceremonial contexts. Their stunning carvings and designs serve as a testament to the enduring cultural significance and aesthetic appeal of Ci Wara masks.
  • "In some Bamana areas, initiations are complete when the age-grade enters Ci Wara (pronounced chi waraI). Ci Wara prepares them for their future roles as husband and fathers by pairing them with younger girls who become their partners. It also focuses upon the agricultural skills they need to become successful farmers who can provide for their families and contribute to the community. In Bamana belief, the primordial being Ci Wara is a creature of the wild who taught mankind how to cultivate the fields. Ci is a term referring to farming, while Wara is a generic term for wild beast. During annual ceremonies, two members of the age-grade are chosen to dance as Ci Wara and his female consort. Ci Wara masks are crest masks or dance crests, for they sit on top of the dancer's head. Both the head and much of the body of the dancer are usually hidden by a costume. Ci Wara forms have become one of the world's most recognizable and more reproduced of all African art forms." Source: Blackmun Visona, Poynor, Cole 2008
  • This Ci Wara is a wonderfully carved contemporary piece. It references the old traditional headdresses that were used in ceremonies.  

Country of Origin:

  • Hand carved in Mali


  • Depth: 6"
  • Width: 12" 
  • Height: 36"

Sustainable Materials:

  • Indigenous wood
  • Leather and hair details

    About Decorative African Art:

    Hemingway Gallery only purchases pieces from artists or owners that we approve of historically and aesthetically. These might include artworks that have been newly created and are currently being used in ceremonies. We place high value in these pieces, despite their lack of age and antiquity, regarding them as real even though they are not old. Some are created for use by the people and not made for the tourist trade. Ours are by talented artisans creating fine art that reference historic styles. Newly produced African art is gorgeous and we value these pieces. This includes contemporary aesthetics from the continent that may not necessarily look traditionally ‘African’. Our goal is to represent design in Africa that goes beyond the idea of ‘tribal’ as the styles of emerging artists are ever evolving.

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    Our pricing correlates directly to the asking prices of artists, artisans and art dealers in the various African countries we collect from and the costs of importing their artwork to the U.S. We need to change the idea that artists should be paid pennies for their fine art just because it comes from Africa. Paying a fair price to our artists is our number one priority and our pricing reflects that.


    • Shipped with FedEx Ground: $85 - This is a fragile piece and requires extra care in packing and a large box. 
    • Free pick-up is available.
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    Further Information:

    Please email us at or call 212-838-3650 with the SKU # for further information on this piece.

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