size: 22.5" (56.5 cm)
provenace: the 24 collection (florida, usa)
This icon of African art collecting is a horizontal Chi Wara or Tji Wara figure that represents an antelope. Chi Wara figures are usually carved in male/female pairs, and are usually vertical pieces. According to Bamana popular folklore, the Chi Wara is a mythological hero who came down from the heavens to teach Bamana people how to manage agricultural life. In so doing, he ensured the survival and continuity of humanity. According to the legend, the Chi Wara is a half antelope, half human. Dances performed in honour of the Chi Wara were originally in religious contexts.
Today Chi Wara´s are carried to farms to ensure a good harvest. Bambara members of the Chi Wara society wear the headdress while dancing in their fields at sowing time, hoping to increase the crop yield. An iconic symbol of prosperity and fertility.