R6M8M947.jpg (46079 bytes)Marka (Warka), Mali

Tji wara – Horizontal Male Antelope Headdress. The Marka people are numbering some 400,000.  Their style shows a strong Bambara influence. Typical for their masks are metal sheeting with geometrical design, small red tassels.  The Tji wara society members use a headdress representing, in the form of an antelope, the mythical being who taught men how to farm. The word tji means “work” and wara means “animal,” thus “working animal.” There are male and female antelopes with vertical or horizontal direction of the horns. The dancers appeared in pairs (a man and a woman – an association with fertility) holding two sticks in their hands, their leaps imitating the jumps of the antelopes. They glorify the spirit tji wara, guardian of the harvest and object of worship by the society that bears its name. The tji wara is supposed to increase the fertility of the earth and increase yields.

Material: wood, metal sheeting, , basketry, tissue, cowries, cotton tassels

Size:  H. 15”, W. 7”, D. 22”

  R6M8M947F.jpg (37173 bytes)R6M8M947R.jpg (37286 bytes)