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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Senufo Sculptures : Senufo Wooden Fertility Sculpture
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Senufo Wooden Fertility Sculpture - PF.5884
Origin: Ivory Coast
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 13.25" (33.7cm) high x 2.75" (7.0cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Wood

£2,500.00
Location: Great Britain
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Description
This wooden sculpture might be the representation of the Senufo goddess Kalieleo. She is the female counterpart of Koulo Tiolo, the Creator who was thought to be asleep, and thus was never depicted in sculptural form. However, the representations of Kalieleo are very widespread in the Senufo art. She was the guardian mother of the village, protector of the Poro, a secret society of males responsible with passing on the sacred knowledge of the physical and spiritual world. She can be represented alone or giving the breast to a child. In this sculpture, she holds a small infant in her lap who eagerly suckles at her long, exaggerated breasts. She wears various armbands and a necklace with a pendant decorated with a grid pattern perhaps representing beads. Her hair has been braided into an elaborate coiffure that has been elegantly carved and extends outward in two horn-like braids that fall from the sides of her head. The large pointed protrusion in the center of her forehead might be related to the beak of the hornbill, a mythological symbol of sexuality and intelligence. Clearly this statue represents a woman of importance and majesty, regardless if she is a goddess or not. She has elegant jewelry, scars which were considered marks of beauty, and most a child, all indications of her high rank and fecundity. Whether or not this woman is the goddess Kalieleo can be questioned; however, one cannot doubt the significance of this sculpture as a symbol of beauty and fertility. - (PF.5884)

 

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