SENUFO ART, Ivory Coast


SENUFO
Hornbill Figures

 

 SENUFO
Figures 1

 

 SENUFO
Figures 2



 

SENUFO
Hornbill Figures


 

 SENUFO
Drums

 

SENUFO
Masks

 

SENUFO
Helmets



 SENUFO
Stools

 

SENUFO
Maternity Figures

 

SENUFO
Doors

 

SENUFO
Headdress 1

SENUFO
Gourds

SENUFO
"Firespitter" Masks

SENUFO
Bird Heads
 
 

SENUFO, "Sejun"
Bird Staff Finials

SENUFO
"Firespitter" Masks

 

SENUFO Beds

Photographs © Tim Hamill

SENUFO, HORNBILL FIGURES 1, Ivory Coast

Hornbill figures, called Setien or Porpianong, were used by the Lo and Poro societies. A symbol of fertility and the original ancestor cult, the hornbill was the mythological founder of the Senufo people. The figures were originally worn on the head during long dances and processions. The Setien, hermaphrodictic, represent procreation, with their long hooked beaks touching their protruding stomachs that they have fertilized, therefore being the carrier of life and a symbol of continuity to future generations.

Hornbills are noble birds; they mate for life, they share equally in the raising of their young who they protect by spreading their wings. They are depicted in their erect, protective stance.

The variety of size, style, skill and surface finish reflects the range of the more than a million Senufo peoples living in the Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.

SENUFO, STOOLS, Ivory Coast

Senufo stools, carved from single blocks of wood are wonderfully simple sculptural forms. Most of ours are worn smooth on top by use. We have stacked them to show relative size and unintended sculptural possibilities. They are sold seperately.

SENUFO, DRUMS, Ivory Coast

Drums are among the most important art forms in Africa, used both as a musical instrument and as a work of sculpture significant in many ceremonial functions, including dance, rituals, story-telling and communication of messages.

SENUFO, MASKS, Ivory Coast

These refined face masks represent women, are danced by men, and are usually associated with the Poro association. Called "Beautiful Lady" masks, they come with many variations, with rich and complex symbolism.

SENUFO, MATERNITY FIGURES, Ivory Coast

Exhibiting a wide diversity in size, symbolism, intimacy and style., African maternity figures depict the ideals of beauty, fertility, character and action and many signify much more, whether the primordial mother or a legendary founding ancestor. Commonly used as shrine figures, they were often objects of petitions or prayers for fertility and successful births. The prevelance of the maternity theme testifies to the importance of women and children to the continuity of each people.

SENUFO, FIRESPITTER MASKS, Ivory Coast

These large horizontal masks, composites of several animals, were called Kponungo, or "funeral head masks". Used by both Poro and non-Poro male societies, these helmet masks embodied an aggressive supernatural power to combat any forces that might disrupt the well-being of the community. The powerful features of antelopes, buffaloes, crocodiles, warthogs, hornbills chameleons and humans combined to symbolize power and to recall important myths. They were used in anti-witchcraft ceremonies.

The term "Firespitter" is used by outsiders because of how some of the masks were performed.

SENUFO, BEDS, Ivory Coast

Senufo beds, carved from single blocks of hardwood, are wonderfully simple, elegant forms, with raised "pillows" and four massive legs that taper downward. Most of ours are worn smooth on top by use. They range in size from 68" to 96" long and in weight from 24 lbs. (no.2) to 170 lbs. (no. 8). The beds are relatively flat and can function as a utilitarian low "coffee" table in our culture. The large ones are not normally shippable.

GO TO FAMILY MATTERS EXHIBITION PAGE

GO TO MATERNITY FIGURES PAGE

GO TO COUPLES PAGE

GO TO AFRICAN FIGURES PAGE

GO TO MASKS AND HEADS PAGE

GO TO AFRICAN METALWORK PAGE

GO TO NEW ADDITIONS PAGE

GO TO AFRICAN STOOLS PAGE

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