Chi Wara Headdress | Mali

Bamana Chi Wara from Mali, represent and honor the mythological half man / half antelope hero who taught man how to cultivate the soil. They were worn as headdresses and danced in pairs to celebrate the union of male (sun), female (earth) and fibre costume (rain). This signified the cooperation needed for a successful harvest and community survival. Spelled alternately Ci Wara, Tyi Wara, etc. they illustrate the diversity of ways to represent an unwritten pronunciation. There are three types of Chi Wara headdresses; the familiar vertical style of the eastern Bamana, the more realistic horizontal style of the northern Bamana and the varied and more abstract forms of the Southern Bamana.


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