Chi Wara - Mythical Antelope
The Chi Wara dance in the fields in a male/female pair. This is to teach that men and women must both work to guarantee a successful harvest. Generally, the female (representing earth) dances behind the male (representing sun). The pair of Chi Wara are covered with a fiber costume which represents rain. The faces of the dancers are covered and usually have their faces painted so you can't see their faces. The headdresses are tied to the dancers heads and they also carry a long staff. The male Chi Wara will leap around to represent the antelope and scratch the ground with his horns or staff as a demonstration on how to cultivate the earth to sow crops. The female dancer will fan the male dancer in order to spread his powers to the people gathered around.
The headdress, a stylized antelope, is created in both genders. On the right is a male Chi Wara headdress. The male headdress has bent horns and a phallus. The phallus is low to the ground symbolizing the fertilization of the ground for planting. The male Chi Wara has a zig zag pattern representing the sun's path in the sky.
The female version of the headdress, on the left, usually has straight horns (this example oddly has bent horns) and a baby Chi Wara. If you look closely at the baby on her back you can see it is a male - note the zig zag pattern and phallus.
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!
You Should Also Read:
Griot - A West African Tradition
What is a Khanga?
African Black Soap
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Content copyright © 2023 by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.