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Antelope (Chi Wara) Headpiece: Female

Accession Number
1971/2.18B

Title
Antelope (Chi Wara) Headpiece: Female

Artist(s)
Bamana

Artist Nationality
Bamana

Object Creation Date
1900-1971

Medium & Support
wood, brass tacks and twine

Dimensions
18 7/8 in x 39 9/16 in x 7 1/2 in (48 cm x 100.5 cm x 19 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase assisted by the Friends of the Museum of Art

Label copy
The Bamana believe that certain animals have traits found also in men. Performances with zoomorphic masks serve to remind people of such similarities as well as to entertain. The Chi Wara (Tyi Wara) dance takes place during the semi-annual agricultural and initiation festivals, occurring in April, at the start of the planting season, and after the December harvest. The Chi Wara dance, which may take place either on the work fields or in the center of the village, recalls a fabulous being, half-man, half-animal, who in the past taught men how to cultivate the earth. He was the offspring of a hooded snake and Moussa Koroni, the first of the earth's creatures. Chi Wara used his claws and a pointed stick, which he held in his hand. Thus wild grasses were turned into edible grain. Chi Wara taught his technique to men and inspired them to follow his example. But as grain grew abundant, men began to waste it. Chi Wara buried himself in the ground and men, having lost him, carved a mask in his memory.

Primary Object Classification
Costume and Costume Accessories

Primary Object Type
headdress

Collection Area
African

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Animals
antelope
antelopes
chi wara
headdresses

& Author Notes

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