Senufo Mask


This Kpeli-yehe mask combines elements of Senufo mythology and culturally known symbols... The small legs below the chin symbolize the hornbill bird, one of the Senufo primordial creatures and the first to be hunted by men. The heart-shaped face and protruding lips are style elements of Senufo sculpture. Kepelie masks would dance a funeral of elder women and men, the newly dead that have now joined the ancestors. The Senufo are a large dispersed population living primarily in Ivory Coast and Mali in small self-administered villages supporting themselves primarily as farmers. Though generally autonomous the villages are joined through a shared men’s secret society known as Poro or Pondo that is responsible for the initiation of young boys and men into different levels of society and to exercise social control and instruct members and initiates in religious wisdom and knowledge of the bush spirits. Women have their counterpart to this in their divination society known as Sando. Among the Senufo people funerary ceremonies serve as a primary occasion for the appearance art during ritual displays. It is during the funerals of senior members of the Poro society and woman’s society that dances to celebrate the life of the deceased.

Size:- 43cmH x 21cmW

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