Pair of Headdresses (Chiwara Kunw)

Two large dark brown wood horned animal headdresses

Image actions

  • Two large dark brown wood horned animal headdresses

Date:

Mid–19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Bamana
Baninko region, Mali
Northern Africa and the Sahel

About this artwork

These headdresses were all worn by men in male-female pairs during performances celebrating the mythical farming beast named Chiwara, which introduced the Bamana people to agriculture. The rituals motivated young men to work hard. Each headdress combines the graceful horns of an antelope with the body of an aardvark. A young male calf sits upon the female’s back, symbolizing the fertile union of men and women and of the earth and the sun.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Culture

Bamana

Title

Pair of Headdresses (Chiwara Kunw)

Origin

Mali

Date

1850–1925

Medium

Wood, metal, brass tacks, and grasses

Dimensions

left: 98.4 × 40.9 × 10.8 cm (38 3/4 × 16 1/8 × 4 1/4 in.); right: 79.4 × 31.8 × 7.6 cm (31 1/4 × 12 1/2 × 3 in.)

Credit Line

Ada Turnbull Hertle Endowment

Reference Number

1965.6-7

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share