African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Senoufo
Statue Senoufo (N° 17384)
This feminine figure is surmounted by a lidded container, carved with a bird, symbol of divination. Speckled patina. Light wood on which remains greyish residues of oily coating. Many erosions. Mr. Brunel, a chemist by training, has crisscrossed Africa: Zaire, Kenya, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Guinea,... Until his death, he will have accumulated nearly 600 pieces. Piece entrusted by his legatees.
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The Senoufos, 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. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo . Each of them has its own association Poro which introduces young boys from the age of seven into a succession of three cycles lasting seven years. They gather in a sacred enclosure called sinzanga located near the village, among the trees. At the time of the death of one of the members of the Poro, the statues named pombibele were exhibited. Although exclusively male, Poro actually pays tribute with these statues to the supposed founder of the sinzanga The women's society sandogo manages divination to appease the spirits of the bush, and also has statues. The statues deble , used by soothsayers, depict spirits of the bush in a human form. These spirits receive offerings in exchange for their protection from any kind of plague.
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