Lot 101
  • 101

Pair of Bamana Headcrests, Mali

30,000 - 50,000 USD
81,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • wood


Alan Brandt, New York
Private Collection, acquired from the above in the late 1960s

Catalogue Note

While the mythology of the Bamana peoples generally revolved around agriculture, the ci wara society, a society within the Bamana group, emphatically devoted its ritual practices to the successful cultivation of crops and a fruitful farming season. These ci wara headdresses are emblematic of antelopes: the male figure’s tall, elegant horns suggest the potent energy and endurance that drove farmers as they worked in the fields, and the female figure appears with her baby on her back, alluding to the fertility both of those who thrived off the land and also of the land itself. Members of the ci wara depicted other animals in their ceremonial objects too, such as anteaters and pangolins, and they featured these headcrests in agricultural contests, performances for entertainment, and annual celebrations.