Ci Wara Antelope Headdress - Female. Bamana, Mali
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Description of Significance:
- "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
D:4" W:10" H:40"
- Depth x Width x Height
- 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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