Requires Photography

Headdress (ciwara)

20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Mali


Overall: 32.3 x 8 x 60 cm (12 11/16 x 3 1/8 x 23 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

wood, metal tacks

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



Antelope headdresses are part of a mask belonging to the members of the ci wara association, which initiates young men into adult tasks, among them the cultivation of the fields. However, modern agricultural equipment has changed the way in which ci wara headdresses are used. Ci wara headdresses have become symbolic of Malian culture and now appear at cultural festivals and political events. The headdresses have also become pan-African icons and are amongst the most recognizable and sought after works of art from the continent.


1963, sold by Galerie Carrefour, Paris, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart