Female tji wara (antelope headdress). The Marka are a Mande subgroup. This ethnic group is independent from the Bambara but their styles show a strong Bambara influence. They live in the region that extends from the north of the Bambara to the Senegalese border. The dry savanna permits no more than a subsistence economy, and the soil produces, with some difficulty, millet, rice, and beans. Among the best known of their associations is the tji wara. In the past the purpose of this association was to encourage cooperation among all members of the community to ensure a successful crop. In recent time, however, the concept of tji wara has become associated with the notion of good farmer, and the tji wara masqueraders are regarded as a farming beast. Always performing together in a male and female pair, the coupling of the antelope masqueraders speaks of fertility and agricultural abundance. According to one interpretation, the female tji wara represents the earth. In this tji wara headdress human and antelope features are combined.
Material: wood, metal sheeting, cotton tassels
Size: H. 23½, W. 8, D. 9