African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Senufo bird

Senufo bird (N° 22796)

The hornbill statues in African art
This medium-sized sculpture features the mythical bird that is one of the five animals of the Senufo cosmogony, and more specifically the hornbill. Evoked for morphological and behavioral criteria, it decorates, in its miniature version, many Senufo African art objects. Rising from a base like the "deblé" pestle statues, the figure presents geometric decorative motifs with a symbolic connotation. Its long beak, "interpreted as the figuration of the male sexual organ" perpetuating the life of the community, comes back to rest on the animal's abdomen.
Beautiful golden brown lustrous patina, abrasions.
Senufo villages are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo. Each of them has its own Poro association which initiates young boys from the age of seven in a succession of three cycles lasting seven years. They gather in a sacred enclosure called sinzanga located near the village, among the trees. This type of statues were used there for initiatory teaching.
Source: "The bird in the art of West Africa" ​​Ed. Sepia  

 


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OriginEx-collection française
EthnySenoufo
Countrymali
Material(s)wood
Height cm83
Width33 cm
Weight3.85 Kg

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