African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Senoufo/Guro mask
Senoufo/Guro mask (N° 17899)
The African masks of the Senufo are worn by male members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life.
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Two parallel faces, bordered by fins, topped by excrescences ending in volutes, constitute this "Kpélié" mask meaning "mask that jumps". It was worn during initiations symbolically marking a death followed by a rebirth.
Black shiny patina.
Kept in the sacred enclosure named sezang in order to remove them from the gaze of the uninitiated, their function is to honor the elders or even appear at funerals. Anthropomorphic masks would mainly chase the spirit of the deceased from its place of residence.
Living in a reserved area, the senufo sculptor, whose training lasted seven years, began by making everyday objects, then, little by little, sported sculptures of increasing size. Initiatory rituals completed his training.
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