African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Senoufo figure
Senoufo figure in bronze (N° 19353)
This figurative fetish statuette is said to be a divinatory fetish object. It would be of Tussia origin, Senoufo sub-group of Burkina-Faso.
Irregular greenish-grey granular patina
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The Senoufos, the name given to them by the French colonists, are mainly composed of farmers who are scattered between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. Councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer Senufo villages. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo. Each has its own Poro association that 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. Upon the death of one of the Poro members, statues named pombibele were displayed. Although exclusively male, the Poro society actually pays homage through these statues to the supposed founder of the sinzanga The female sandogo society, on the other hand, 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 from all types of plagues.
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