Tribal art > African mask > Senoufo mask
Senoufo mask (N° 22300)
Ex-Belgian African art collection.
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The African masks of the Sénufo are worn by male members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life.
An elegant bifid beak springs from the cap incised with almond-shaped eyes. A patina of use covers the irregular surface of the object, which is also marked by slight impacts.
This mask evokes the primordial bird, one of the five animals of the Senoufo cosmogony, the first stage of the Senufo creation, and more precisely the hornbill
Kept in the sacred enclosure named sezang in order to shield them from the gaze of the uninitiated, their function is to honor the elders or even appear at funerals. Anthropomorphic masks would primarily drive the spirit of the deceased away from its place of residence.
Living in a restricted area, the sénufo sculptor, whose training spanned seven years, began by making everyday objects, then, little by little, sported sculptures larger than more important. Initiatory rituals completed his learning.