<AFRICAN ART AT THE BAYLY>

The Story of Chi Wara


In Africa, a long, long time ago, people did not know how to farm. They had to wander the dry land to find food. On the land, there were a lot of antelopes. An antelope is an animal like a deer, but with tall curved horns called antlers. One of the antelopes felt sorry for the people because they had to keep moving all the time to find food. The antelope's name was Chi Wara (working animal). Chi Wara decided to help the people by teaching them how to make a garden of food. He showed them how to find seeds and dig holes by using his antlers. He showed them how to cover the holes with soil by using his hooves. The people were so happy to learn about planting. Now they could live in one place and not have to move around searching for food. The Chi Wara became a special friend of theirs and he stayed and helped them work their gardens and farms. Although they were very pleased with all of the help Chi Wara gave them, as their crops became better and better, they grew lazy. They were wasteful and were not as careful with their planting. This made Chi Wara upset and he went back into the earth from which he had come. From then on, when planting season and harvest time came, the men and women missed Chi Wara They prepared a special ceremony that calls upon the spirit of Chi Wara.

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