Highly sculptural mask of the Tyiwara society of the western African Bambara tribe. Derived from the antelope's form and emphasizing its head, neck, and horns, the masks were worn at cultivation ceremonies by dancers imitating the antelope's graceful movements. It was believed that the spirit of the tyi-wara (work animal), which held great power over agricultural fertility, was embodied in the masks.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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