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Africa Direct

Senufo Maternity Janus Face Ivory Coast 41 Inch African Art

AvailabilityIn stock
Special Price $290.00 Regular Price $890.00
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Title Senufo Maternity Janus Face Ivory Coast 41 Inch African Art
Type of Object Sculpture, carving, statue, figure
Country of Origin Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
People Senufo
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th Century
Height (in) 41
Width (in) 10
Depth (in) 10
Dimensions Height: 41 Inches
Width: 10 Inches
Depth: 10 Inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Large splits and cracks, indigenous repairs, dirt, chips and general wear

Additional Information: This expressive female figure nursing a child is from the Senufo people of Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire). It is very well carved with the hallmarks of classic Senufo sculpture in terms of details and style. She has classic Senufo features enhanced by complex scarification on her face and the front and back of her body and wears a well-defined coiffure. The figure depicts a mature woman in her prime as evident from her jutting breasts, scarification markings and well-defined thighs and hips. Her hairstyle is typical Senufo and represents a stylized bird, one of the five primordial creatures in the Senufo pantheon. The face is an abstract classic with subtle and beautifully designed features with an elegant long nose and elegant facial markings and a mouth that is quietly defined. She has an elaborate hairstyle and an elegant curve to her back. The surface is worn and shows some age. Whatever her use and ceremonial appearance she is a beautifully carved figure reflecting the skill and aesthetic sensibilities of the Senufo carver.

Figures such as this may have been commissioned by the male ‘Poro Society’ or the female ‘Tykpa' (Tykepa) Society, both which were concerned with initiations, funerals and social control. She may also have been a Yasungo, a shrine figure or one of a male-female pair representing the first couple known as ‘Kasingele’. She sits in quiet dignity holding a figure that can be either a child or a surrogate symbol for the village and its population that she nurtures and sustains.

Recommended reading:

Glaze, Anita J. “Art and Death in a Senufo Village, 1981.

Forster, T. Die Kunst Der Senufo, Museum Reitberg, Zurich, 1988.

Forster, T. and H.-J. Koloss, Die Kunst Der Senufo, Elfenbeinkuste,1990.