Ci Wara headdress
Early 20th century
Height: 10 ¼ in. (26 cm)
Length 35 ¾ in. (91 cm)
Ex collection Pierre Vérité, Paris. Acquired in 1951
Collection Pierre & Claude Vérité until 2006
Ex Enchères Rive Gauche, Paris, Arts Primitifs. Collection Vérité,
17-18 June 2006, lot 333
Ex private collection, France
As stated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, local oral traditions credit a mythical being named Tyiwara or Ci Wara- a divine being half mortal and half animal - with the introduction of agriculture to the Bamana. These headdresses, also called Ci Wara, are carved to honor that original mythical being.
Ci Wara masquerade performances begin outside the village in the fields and gradually travel to the village center. Women also play an integral part during the masquerading ceremonies by singing songs of praise for Ci Wara and the hard-working farmers.
Ci Wara helmet dance