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Africa Direct

Senufo Rhythm Pounder Figure African Art 29 Inch

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Title Senufo Rhythm Pounder Figure African Art 29 Inch
Type of Object Figure, Carving, statue
Country of Origin Ivory Coast.
People Senufo
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 29
Width (in) 5
Dimensions Height: 29 Inches
Width: 5 Inches
Overall Condition Fair
Damage/Repair Repair to left hand, cracks, chips and a well worn patina

Additional Information: This is a wonderful example of a standing female figure wit an elegant body with finest lines and details typical of the Senufo stylistic tradition. The Senufo are the dominant culture in Cote d'Ivoire, and across the border into Mali. The Senufo carve numerous male and female figures as well as 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.

Among the Senufo statues of this category are known as rhythm pounder (Pombibele) figures. The rhythm pounders were used in both funeral and initiation ceremonies. A skillfully-crafted example of one of the most famous of West African sculptures. 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. They are associated with loud booming noises when groups of them are struck on the ground, many of them are actually carried, and not used to make a sound at all.

For similar pieces see Jacques Kerchache, ART OF AFRICA, figs 318-320