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Tribal art > African mask > Senoufo mask

Senoufo Kpeliye mask (N° 21559)

The African masks of the Senufo are worn by male members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life.
Devoid of fins, this rare type of mask "Kpélié" , or "mask that jumps", is also worn during initiations symbolically marking a death followed by a rebirth. A thick beard adorns the contours of the mask, composed of multiple finely braided plaits. Green pigmented patina, locally chipped. Missing and indigenous restoration on the contours.
Kept in the sacred enclosure named sezang in order to remove them from the gaze of the uninitiated, their function is to honor the elders or even appear at funerals. Anthropomorphic masks would mainly chase the spirit of the deceased from its place of residence. Living in a reserved area, the senufo sculptor, whose training lasted seven years, began by making everyday objects, then, little by little, sported sculptures of increasing size. Initiatory rituals completed his training.  

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OriginCollection P. Malisse
EthnySenoufo
Countrymali
Material(s)wood, plant fibre, resin
Height cm75
Width15 cm
Weight0.75 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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