Bamana people of Mali are known for their tyi wara ceremonies. Which main artifact do the Bamana people use for the ceremonies?
A selection of African art and artifacts, including masks, symbols of leadership, ancestor sculpture and guardian figures, household items, [ and objects used for personal adornment will continue to be on view in the Ben Shahn Galleries at William Paterson University in Wayne from January 30 through March 4, 2011. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. A
reception will be held in Sunday, January 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the galleries.
The exhibit is being held in conjunction with the University’s second annual Cross-Cultural Arts Festival. This year’s festival, Africa and the African Diaspora, to be held from March 22 to April 8, showcases the impact and influence of African culture on the visual arts, theater, film and music.
The Court Gallery exhibit, titled “Objects of Power,” is a partial selection from the nearly 700 objects donated to the University by Joan and Gordon Tobias, private collectors who frequently traveled to Africa and collected the pieces over a 30-year period.
The objects featured in the exhibit include ritual objects used in initiation rites and passages, courtship and marriage ceremonies, spirit and ancestor worship, and seasonal and harvest festivals. “The visual arts and artifacts of Africa are wide-ranging and touch every aspect of daily life,” says Nancy Einreinhofer, director of the Ben Shahn Galleries. “These objects are closely tied to traditional African religious beliefs and the ceremonies that are integral to African tribal communities.”
Among the items on display is a carved wood antelope headdress from the Bamana people of Mali. The headdress is strapped to the head and used in harvest ceremonies. The carved animals are a composite of different species of antelope, whose grace and strength is thought to embody the idea qualities of champion farmers. The headdress is worn with a full body fiber costume representing water.
Also on view is a seated ancestral statue from the Dogon people of Mali. ]
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