African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Senoufo Mask
Senoufo Mask (N° 18006)
This African senoufo mask, adorned with a polychrome pastillage, has a large mouth of tubular ears, horns and fangs, and a summit figure with a cup. This African senoufo mask with a round head, exorbitant pupils, wide toothed jaw and zoomorphic ears, is named 'fire-breather' (Korobla). It is sometimes accessorized with magical attributes. The chameleon motif refers to the emblematic animal that preceded the creation of human beings and symbolizes knowledge, the cup is intended for magical substances.
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The Senoufo, the name given to them by french settlers, are mainly made up of farmers who have dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the senoufo villages.
Representations of hybrid beings, the zoomorphic African masks of Sénufo are worn by members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life. Their function is to honour the elders or to appear at funerals, hence their name, poniugo , funeral head. Multiple zoomorphic elements are often associated, crocodile mouth, antelope horns, warthog and ram. Living in a reserved area, the sculptor sénufo , whose formation spanned seven years, began with the realization of everyday objects, and then, little by little, sported sculptures of increasing size. Initiation rituals complemented his learning.