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Senufo Female Figure Cote d'Ivoire African Art

Product #: 82097
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Title Senufo Female Figure Cote d'Ivoire African
Type of Object Carving, figure
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire, Mali
People Senufo
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions 16 inches H. x 6 inches W.
Overall Condition Fair. 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 age cracks throughout, large cracks in head and neck, in the back and in base, chipped hairstyle front and back, large chip in base, old insect damage arrested, holes

Additional Information: This well carved figure comes from the Senufo people. The shape and detailing of the body, shoulders, hairstyle, facial, and body markings identified this piece with the classic Senufo styles of sculpture. This figure has all the hallmarks of an old style Senufo sculpture in terms of details and the work on the finishing touched of the carving and a worn patina.

The art of the Senufo was some of the earliest recognized and collected in Europe, and French colonial authorities recognized the quality of the objects and brought them back to France. Soon after artists and others of the avant-garde began collecting Senufo art. Female figures appear during different ceremonies, and unless one knows the specific context of the figure it is often difficult to name the specific use and name of the figure.

The Senufo live in the Ivory Coast and southern Mali in small villages supporting themselves primarily as farmers. Though generally independent, the villages are joined through a shared men’s secret society known as Poro or Pondo, which is responsible for the initiation of young boys and men and for instruction in the religious wisdom and knowledge of the bush spirits. Masks and figures mainly serve the Poro society.

Recommended Reading:

Goldwater, R. “Senufo Sculpture from West Africa." (1964); Glaze, Anita J. “Art and Death in a Senufo Village." (1981); Forster, T.,  Die Kunst Der Senufo, Museum Rietberg Zurich. 1988; Forster, T. H.-J. Koloss, Der Kunst Der Senufo. 1990; Meyer, P., Kunst und Religion der Lobi, Museum Reitberg Zurich.1981.

I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.