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The Senufo live in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and the extreme south of Mali. The Senufo produce a rich variety of sculptures, mainly associated with the poro society. The sculptors and metalsmiths, endogamous groups responsible for making the cult objects live on their own in a separate part of the village. The attitude shown toward them by other Senufo is a mixture of fear and respect, owing to their privileged relationship with the natural forces that they are capable of channeling in a sculpture. In addition to a belief in a creator deity, ancestors and nature spirits, a central concept in Senufo religion is a female ancestral spirit called “ancient mother” or “ancient woman,” the sacred guiding spirit of each poro society.
All adult men belong to the poro society, which maintains the continuity of religious and historical traditions, especially through the cult of the ancestors. The poro is the pillar of communal life. Responsible for initiation and training of the young boys, it is aimed at shaping an accomplished, social man who is integrated to the collective; it aids his entry into public responsibilities. A mask like this would be danced by the senior poro members.Stand is available separately
This mask was among 30+items from our collection filmed in "Wonderstruck" - an upcoming American drama film directed by Tod Hanes. The film stars Julianne More and Michelle Williams and has been selected to compete at the May 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
The film is expected to be released in the theaters around Christmas 2017
Exhibited at Fairleigh Dickinson University Library Madison NJ Nov 14 - 22, 2016