“The Chiwara is a Malian ritual object representing the spirit of the roan antelope. The Bambara (Bamina) people of Mali handcarved these objects from wood out of gratitude to Chiwara who, legend has it, taught humans the art of agriculture. These beautifully carved headdresses were used in ceremonies by dancers to represent antelopes. The dancers leaped and turned, and moved their heads and feet like the antelope. The movements are grounded in hundreds of years of tradition to commemorate Chiwara. In these ceremonies the headdress was also used to symbolise fertility, reproduction and propitiation of the spirits and ancestors.
The Chiwara mask is held for the persons who are the best and fastest workers of the land, and so it is passed from one person to another depending on skill and expertise. It is a high honour to be able to wear the mask and dance the ceremonial Chiwara dance. It is an exquisite piece to display in one’s home and Oksijen cannot recommend it enough. Full of character, it will quite certainly be the making of the room!”


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