African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Sen Mask
Mask Senoufo Kpeliye (N° 19921)
An alternation of various forms, with Muslim references, make up this Senufo mask of modest proportions, whose contours are decorated with wings and horns. "Kpélié" meaning "mask that jumps", it is also worn during initiations symbolically marking a death followed by a rebirth. Dark patina locally encrusted with granular ochre pigments.
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The African masks of the Senufo are worn by the male members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life. Kept in the sacred enclosure named sezang in order to keep them from the gaze of the uninitiated, their function is to honor the elders or even appear at funerals. The anthropomorphic masks would mainly chase the spirit of the deceased from its place of residence. Named "wife of the Do" by the Dyoula he also intervened during major Muslim celebrations, such as the Eid-al-Fitr .
Living in a reserved neighborhood, the senufo sculptor, whose training spanned seven years,began by making everyday objects, and then, little by little, sported sculptures of increasing size. Initiatory rituals completed his training.
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