African art > Mask > Senoufo Mask
Senoufo Kpéliyée Mask (N° 13308)
The zoomorphic African masks of the Senufo are worn by members of the Poro Society, an institution that controls political and economic life. Their function is to honor the elders or to appear at funerals. Anthropomorphic masks would mainly drive the spirit of the deceased out of his place of residence. At the top of this Kpélié mask meaning "masque that jumps " are three zoomorphic forms associated with the cameleon. Similar figures, in miniature, form the fins that appear on each side of the twin faces that can symbolize, according to the Senoufo, the primordial couple at the origin of the creation by emphasizing the complementarity between men and women. A decorative border consisting of double coloured pearl necklaces and raffia braiding attaches the canvas to the contours of the mask.
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In a sacred enclosure near the village gathered among the trees, the young boys of the Poro initiation society. They were initiated from the age of seven in a succession of three cycles lasting seven years. Although exclusively male, Poro pays tribute through statuary to the supposed founder of sinzanga, Katyeléo . Living in a reserved neighbourhood, the sculptor senufo , whose training spanned seven years, began with the making of everyday objects, and then, little by little, carried sculptures of increasing size. Initiatory rituals complemented his learning.
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|Material(s)||wood, textile, perles, plant fibre|
|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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