Dance Headdress (Ci-wara Kun)
Arts of Africa
ART OF DOUBLES
Duality is present in art throughout the continent as an expression of essential concepts that drive human nature—from gender to humanity’s place in the cosmos. This pair of pairs illustrates some of the ways that artists have expressed these ideas.
Ere ibeji are carved by the Yoruba primarily as memorial figures for twins. Because twins are considered spiritually powerful beings, with power to provide considerable good or to inflict harm, ibeji figures are the focus of great personal interaction and care. Such figures are considered a point of access to the spirit of a departed twin, and an icon of status for a mother of twins.
Worn on the heads of male dancers, ci-wara headdresses are danced in male and female pairs to symbolize the fertility of land and animals. Each headdress represents an antelope, which for the Bamana is a metaphor for the successful farmer who tirelessly tills his fields.
late 19th-early 20th century
31 3/4 x 13 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (80.6 x 34.3 x 7 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Rosemary and George Lois
Female: antelope headdress with long slender neck and carrying a fawn on her back. Ears are in shape of round disks with white metal rings inserted in each ear. Thin metal band with zigzag edge decorates her forehead and there is a small white metal disk inserted in proper left eye. Notched circular pattern decorates snout. Tall, thin vertical horns have incised decorative grooves. Edges of ears have decorative notched pattern. On top of female's back is the fawn. It has vertical horns that are bifurcated - bent at right angle - and with incised grooves. The ears are notched at edge and there are incised bands on forehead. It has a small sweeping mane with "V" shaped configurations on outer curve. Tail is pointed. Condition: excellent. Small area of pitting on proper left side of neck. Fawns snout tip worn, and small section of mane missing near torso. Right inlaid eye missing.
This item is not on view
Bamana. Dance Headdress (Ci-wara Kun), late 19th-early 20th century. Wood, metal, 31 3/4 x 13 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (80.6 x 34.3 x 7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Rosemary and George Lois, 77.245.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 77.245.1_77.245.2_PS1.jpg)
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.