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Chi wara Head Crest

Mali - Bamana

This head crest represents the spirit of Chi wara a mythical being who is part human and part antelope. It is worn by the Bamana people of Mali during a ritual dance at times of planting and harvest. There are many Chi wara designs. The female Chi wara has straight horns and carries a baby antelope on its back. It symbolizes the earth and the plowed field. A male Chi wara has curved horns and open-work designs. It symbolizes the sun strength and growth. This is a female Chi wara. We have both female and male in our exhibit.