- Museum number
Costume for Nyau masquerade in form of animal construction (kasiyamaliro) said to resemble an antelope. Hollow framework made of branches of wood, crossed over each other, with lengths of bamboo pushed in between tied with raffia palm fibre and sisal. Dried maize leaves woven into wood framework to form outer surface. Decorated with double line of black plastic sacking running horizontally around structure at mid-point. Short fringe of sisal around base of construction. Rear and head of animal form elaborate tapering arches. Head has long, narrow, open mouth bordered by alternating natural-coloured maize leaves and strips of black plastic sacking or brown-dyed maize leaves. Two short wood horns protrude from top of head to which are bound three long tassels, made of maize leaves secured with sisal around metal wires. These tassels end in loose sisal lengths. Tail formed from single tightly bound tassel of maize leaves, terminates in loose sisal lengths. Small rectangular holes in structure in several places allow dancers to see out.
- Production date
Height: 270 centimetres
Width: 165 centimetres
Depth: 40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
For depictions of Kasiyamaliro masks in Malawi rock art see:
Kasiyamaliro (antelope) are part of the Chirombo (wild animal) form of masks, and the most common, playing a role in funerals and funeral rememberances.
Kasiyamaliro depicts a mature antelope, one of a variety of four antelopes. The size and shape of the form are indications of its age and gender. Kasiymaliro is worn by a man who moves the ten foot tall mask form around the bwalo (ritual space) usually with grace and elegance. The most common movements is to move into the bwalo and begin to twirl, circling in place, moving faster and faster until the long woven maize husk tail flies in the wind. Others move across the bwalo in steady and quickened movements, threatening the crowds, but are usually intercepted before the mask charges into people (de Aguilar, 1996:99)
See Collection File Af,1993.09. Collection made by the vendor during periods of fieldwork in Malawi (1985-6,1988,1990 and 1992). Costume made bu Chiefs Msanjama and Chilambula; collected in 1992.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number