Lot: 152

98th Auction

Antelope dance crest "tjiwara" with cap

Mali, Bamana

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
American Collection H: 16.9 inch 2000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, basketry, cord material,

These antelope sculptures are known as "tjiwara" - "the beast who labors" ("tji": work, "wara": wild animal). They recall a mythical being, half man, half animal, who in legendary past thaught man how to cultivate the earth.

In the past the purpose of the "tjiwara" association was to encourage
cooperation among all members of the community to ensure a successful crop.

In recent time, however, "tjiwara" has been associated with young men's hoeing competitions to crown the "master of agriculture".

Always performing together in a male and female pair, the coupling of the antelope masqueraders speaks of fertility and agricultural abundance.