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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Senufo Sculptures : Senufo Wooden Sculpture of a Man
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Senufo Wooden Sculpture of a Man - PF.3097
Origin: Northern Ivory Coast/Mali
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 29.75" (75.6cm) high x 7.5" (19.1cm) wide
Catalogue: V19
Collection: African Art
Medium: Wood

Additional Information: Closet AF8
Location: United States
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Senufo culture is best represented by several types of human figures, that are called deble, used by the initiates of the Lo society to stamp upon the ground in their dances. Senufo figures are marked by a great sculptural tension, achieved through the strong curves of the torso and limbs which imply and support the vertical axis. Carved of wood from northern Ivory Coast, this Senufo figure is a fine example of such qualities. Depicting a strong male standing firmly, the sculpture displays an elongated, vertical body in geometric shapes. The graceful elongation of the figure and the curvature of protruding chest create aesthetic qualities that capture our eyes. Moreover, its face is decorated with scarification and the hair is styled to decorate the head symmetrically. The vertical figure is carved smoothly to fit its function as an instrument at funeral ceremonies and rites of initiation. Africans created art works which embody magical and supernatural power. Their art works were the spiritual and religious mediators that can travel from the human world to the spiritural world of ancestors. The gracefully abstract physicality of African sculptures, such as this Senufo figure, were not only for visual aesthetics but also for various uses in important cultural functions. - (PF.3097)


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