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Bambara Ci Wara Mask from Mali

SKU: AFTAM136 Categories: , Tag:


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About this piece

A large stylized Antelope (hippotrague) with a clear, rough patina, the name Ci Wara means “earth tawny”.   The characteristics make it possible to attribute it to the style of Ségou.

Carried on top of the skull and held in place by a type of small basket, these crests accompany the dancers during the rituals of the Tòn, a tribe dedicated to agricultural work. The masks leap across the field in order to chase away the Nyama, evil spirits, and detect any danger or flush out the evil presence that could ravish the souls of the cultivated plants or strength of their seeds.  It can be deduced it is a male Ci Wara by the presence of male genitalia and absence of young, which the female versions carry on their backs.


The base has perforations which allow the piece to be fixed on a hat which was worn  on the head of the dancer.

Item details

Weight 1.800 kg
Dimensions 30 × 88 cm

Ex Belgium private Collection

Estimated Date

Circa 1965






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