abstract animal shape; four legs; lozenge-shaped body; long horns and long pointed ears; one cowrie shell hanging from element on animal's forehead; maroon thread tassels at ends of ears; black patina; attached to dark wood base

Tyiwara headcrest, first half of 20th century

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A Tyiwara headcrest should be seen in profile to appreciate the sculptor’s visual imagination: the dynamic beauty of the design, the balance of its elements. Like the Greek chimera, the Tyiwara is a composite creature, its features drawn from the antelope, pangolin, and aardvark, a mythical animal that taught humans how to farm. When used in agricultural ceremonies, the crest is mounted on a dancer’s braided hat.

Details
Title
Tyiwara headcrest
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2012.25
Curator Approved

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abstract animal shape; four legs; lozenge-shaped body; long horns and long pointed ears; one cowrie shell hanging from element on animal's forehead; maroon thread tassels at ends of ears; black patina; attached to dark wood base