- Museum number
Costume for Nyau masquerade in form of an animal construction (kasiyamaliro) said to resemble an antelope. Hollow framework made of branches of wood, crossed over each other and tied with raffia palm fibre and sisal. Loose stalks of dried maize ? or straw ? laid over top of this structure. Dried maize leaves woven into wood framework to form outer surface. Purple and brown-coloured maize leaves used in places. Rear and head of animal form elaborate tapering arches. Head has two curved wood horns, tail composed of maize ? stalks tightly bound with natural-coloured sisal. At lower end of tail sisal is overlaid with strip of blue cotton cloth. Tail terminates in loose strands of sisal. Small rectangular holes in structure in several places allow dancers to see out.
- Production date
Height: 245 centimetres
Width: 46 centimetres
Depth: 163 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 collected in 1988.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001-2017 3 Mar-23 Mar, London, BM, G25, 'Masquerade'
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number