Tribal art > African Maternity > Senoufo statue
Senoufo from Poro Tugubele maternity figure (N° 21620)
Surmounted by a hemispherical pot with a lid sculpted with an animal motif, this Senufo maternity, represented seated, nursing an infant, is made of monoxyl wood. A gentle benevolence, remarkably rendered, permeates her face. This character would embody the "Old Mother" feeding the Poro initiates. Brown glazed surface, golden reflections.
Abrasions, micro cracks.
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 called 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.
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Litt. : "African motherhood" B. Geoffroy-Schneiter - ed. Scala.
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