Bamana mask, West Africa
1 in stock
At the beginning of the world, a being that was both animal and man (in some accounts half-man-half-antelope, a child of Mousso Koroni and of a snake, taught the people, with the aid of hist staff and his claws, how to change the thorny bush into millet fields. (Some accounts have Chi wara coming down from the sky.) The Bamana who followed his example became happy and prosperous. But the abundance of good things caused them to be careless of the Earth and forgetful of the tributes owed to the one who had brought the knowledge of agricultural techniques. Tyiwara (different spelling for Chi wara) reacted to this ingratitude by burying himself deep in the earth and waiting for men to redeem themselves and render to him the homage he deserved. Thereupon they sculpted antelope effigies (sogoni kun) and took them to fields when the millet was being hoed in order to honor the memory of the Bamana benefactor.
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