Senufo Bird

  • Product Code: SEN1-114
  • Dimensions: 9" x 32" x 12"
  • Availability: In Stock
  • USD $


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The Senufo are scattered across the Ivory Coast, Mali, and Burkina Faso. The inhabit villages governed by a council of elders, who in turn are led by a chief elected from their number. Tribal cohesion is reinforced through the rituals of the Poro society, who initiate and educate men from the age of seven onwards. Senufo theology is based on Koulotiolo, a powerful god, and Katieleo, a goddess mother, who through the rituals of the Poro society, regenerates the world. The bird depicted here is thought to be a hornbill, although there is not unanimity on this issue among the Senufo. Older Senufo usually name it as sejen or figen, a term that means simply "the bird". The significance of this bird is indicated more clearly by two other names. It is sometimes called Kasingele, "the first ancestor", which may refer to the mythological founder of the human race or to the ancestral founder of the sacred forest. Alternately, it is named Poropia Nong, which means literally "mother of the Poro child". This statue is thus a primary symbol of the Poro leadership, indicating the authority of its elders. -Bacquart -Prestel/Phillips

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