African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Senoufo figure

Senoufo divination figure (N° 20553)

A figure sculpted for divination purposes, this statuette offers bulging volumes evoking a character endowed with a powerful musculature. Framing a chiseled face, the unusual headdress is composed of braided hair, divided into two segments forming a stylized relief. Golden patina, very shaded. Filmy residue. Cracks of desiccation.
The Senoufos, the name given to them by the French colonists, are mainly composed of farmers who are dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. Governed by matrilineal traditions, their villages are composed of clusters of houses called katiolo . Each has its own Poro association that initiates young boys from the age of seven in a succession of three seven-year cycles . Upon the death of one of the Poro members, statues named pombibele were displayed. Although exclusively male, the Poro society in fact pays homage through these statues to the supposed founder of the sinzanga The female sandogo society, for its part, manages divination in order to appease the spirits of the bush, and also has statues. The deble statues, used by diviners, feature bush spirits in human form. These spirits receive offerings in exchange for protection against all types of plagues.  

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OriginCollection V.C Belge
EthnySenoufo
Countrymali
Material(s)wood
Height30
Width7
Weight0.42 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1950
Socle includedYes

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