Especially available to order. Please allow up to four weeks for delivery.
A large replica of the Chi Wara Bamana Headdress of the Bambara people, a tribe in Mali. The replica measures 87cm tall by 9cm wide.
The Bambara (or Bamana) people belong to the Mande language group. In the (11th to 15th centuries, they were the heirs of the great Empire of Mali and the two later kingdoms of Segu and Kaarta. This farming tribe developed an original culture in which music, theatre (koteba) and dance played an important role.
Originally fixed to a wicker cap, this sculpture is a headdress that is used in the agricultural rites of the Bambara, organized by a society of initiates called Chi Wara, "champion of cultivation". This figure is a combination of three animals that inhabit the bush: the antelope, the pangolin and the anteater. Each of these animals evokes a myth to the Bambara farmers:
The antelope, with its thrusting horns, symbolizes fertility and growth. It is this legendary antelope - half animal and half human, born of the union between Mousso Koroni, the Old Mother, and the Serpent - who taught men the art of cultivating the land and transforming weeds into millet.
The pangolin, a land mammal covered in large scales, incarnates the subterranean life of the plant and also embodies strength and determination.
As for the anteater, it represents the specific mode of growth of the groundnut that is replanted after flowering to produce its fruit under the ground.