SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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This incredible late 19th-early 20th century headdress, which has had a major influence on abstract impressionist and other contemporary artists, was once danced by members of the Bamana Tribe during ritual dances intended to ensure fertility of the fields and the community during harvest ceremonies. It is known as chiwara or tjiwara. and combines a series of animals both real and imagined; these can often include the antelope, gazelle, warthog, anteater, and others. The tjiwara masqueraders always appeared in male-female pairs, celebrating the union of the sun (male) and the earth (female) with the rain (the fiber costume), and their significance for a successful harvest and community survival. At the same time, the representation of the male roan antelope invoked the primeval era when this animal gave the first grain to human beings and taught them how to till the soil. The religious and social life of the Bamana, who live in southwestern Mali, was once determined by six initiation societies known as Jow (singular Jo). Nearly every Bamana male had to pass through these societies in succession, until, upon reaching the highest rank, he had acquired a comprehensive knowledge of ancestral traditions. Each stage of initiation was accompanied by the use of certain mask types, most of them based on animal forms. Among the best known of these mask types is the antelope headdress of the fifth society, chi wara, whose members performed ritual dances intended to ensure the fertility of the fields.
Three types of chi waras are carved: the vertical-style (from the eastern Bamana), the abstract-style (from the southern Bamana), and the most realistic, horizontal-style (from the northern Bamana). This piece mostly draws its aesthetic influence from the horizontal style. The illustration (right) shows more realistic representations of the roan and the aardvark, and comes from a lecture given by Dominique Zahan in 1991 entitled “Antilopes du Soleil.” The 1951 photograph (right, following page) depicts a horizontal-style chi wara being danced in its original context, and is © Pierre and Claude Vérité (Ref: Bacquart, “Tribal Arts of Africa”; “Collection Vérité”; Herzog, “African Masks”; Roberts, “The Two Worlds of Ciwara”).
|Lot ID: 62|
|Low Estimate: $6,000|
|High Estimate: $12,000|
|Next Bid: $3,000|
|Sale ID: 6|
|Sale Date: July 28, 2016|
|Sale Location: Virtual Auction|
|Sale Sponsor: African Artworks from Berz Gallery of African Art|
|Sale Terms: View here|
|Live Bidding Link: SALE CLOSED|
|Location of Origin: Africa|
|Medium/Materials: wood (one piece), stain, oils|
|Dimensions: 12.5" (31.75 cm) height x 24.5" (62.23 cm) length x 5" (12.7 cm) width|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Mali|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Mask|
|Bacquart, “Tribal Arts of Africa”; “Collection Vérité”; Herzog, “African Masks”; Roberts, “The Two Worlds of Ciwara”; PHOTO SOURCE: Field Photo, 1951, Claude Vérité”|
|Provenance: Ex. Private NY Collection, Ex. Pace Primitive Gallery, NY (label affixed Pace Inventory No. 54-3814)|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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