The dry savanna of Mali and Burkina Faso 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 Chi Wara (or 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 chi wara has become associated with the notion of good farmer, and the chi 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 male antelope represents the sun and the female the earth. This particular Chi Wara is a female. It is more unusual than the "antelope" chi waras. This one has the parts of various animals combined in one mythical being.
We Exhibited this chi wara at the "Small Format" Exhibition in Dec 2012 in New Brunswick, NJ.