African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Senoufo mask

Senoufo Kpeliye mask (N° 20928)

The African masks of the Senufo are worn by male members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life.
Variously shaped fins alternate on the contours of this narrow face topped with growths. "Kpélié" meaning "mask that jumps", it is also worn during initiations symbolically marking a death followed by a rebirth.
Dark patina, with residual ochre incrustations. 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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Originex-collection française
EthnySenoufo
Countrymali
Material(s)wood
Height cm37
Width17 cm
Weight0.75 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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