A Bamana antelope dance-crest, Chiwara Kun
Lot 2505
A Bamana antelope dance-crest, Chiwara Kun
US$ 9,000 - 12,000
£5,400 - 7,100
Auction Details
Lot Details
A Bamana antelope dance-crest, Chiwara Kun
Mali, of unusual form, the classical antelope body presenting a second head with human features appearing from the middle of the throat, yet complementing and indeed balancing the composition as a whole.
height 28 1/2in


  • Exhibited:
    Governors State University, IL, 2003
    Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003
    Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004
    Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005

    Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.2, fig.6

    A Bamana age-grade that followed Ntomo, Chiwara prepared young men for their role as family provider and needed agricultural skills. According to Bamana myth, Chiwara, a half man and half animal supernatural, first taught how to cultivate the fields. This example is in the horizontal style more characteristic of examples deriving from North of the Niger River in Mali. Particularly fascinating in this example is the balanced coexistence of the horizontal and vertical axes; the sweeping horns thrust back while the antelope head juts upward. The composition is balanced due to the human head emerging laterally from the neck of the antelope, at the same time further depicting the human/antelope nature of the mythical hero.