In the countries of Mali and Burkina Faso, the dry savanna permits no more than a subsistence economy. Farmers grow corn, rice, and beans - with difficulty.
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 male. Unlike some other chi waras, this one has a finely detailed face.