Senufo Rhythm Pounder "Pombibele" Figure African
Additional Information: A well-carved example of Senufo carving depicting a male figure tanding on a cylindrical base. Figures such as this are rhythm-ponders, or "pombibele," a form unique, even ubiquitous, to the Senufo. The so-called "rhythm pounders" are used at the funerals of important members of the "Poro" Society, a powerful regulatory force throughout much of coastal West Africa. Though these Pombibele are associated with loud booming noises when groups of them are struck on the hard ground, many of them are actually carried, and not used to make sounds at all.
The Senufo are the dominant culture in Cote d'Ivoire and across the border into Mali. The Senufo carve numerous male and female figures in a variety of positions. They also produce many remarkable masks. Most adhere rather strictly to a known set of proportions, but some can be quite abstract. It is thought that many Senufo artworks are produced by "professional" carvers known to the village, and this accounts for the rather standardized "look" found in the majority of their figural objects.
Recommended Reading: Kerchache's ART OF AFRICA
I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, Ph.D.