A female Senufo Rhythm Pounder – called Déblé – of the Boundiali region about 100 km west of Korhogo, standing on a tall cylindrical base, straight feetless legs, the abstract elongated torso is decorated with linear scarification marks around the navel and on the small breasts, rounded shoulders, the upper arms are each surrounded by a carved bangle and one more at each wrist, the hands are resting on the hips, on the slender neck with a collar around it rests an oval head framed by a parted coiffure and two animals on the top, directly above the pointed chin lies a square protruding mouth with clenched teeth, the nose is angled and ends in an snub, the eyes are incised with big brows above them, the fascial plane with its fine stylized features shows a high degree of abstraction; a fine partly shiny surface with traces of sacrifications, signs of cultic use in particular at the upper arms and the base, extremly heavy (12,4 kg), hard wood.
This type of sculpture – known as déblé – is one of the most famous works of West African Art. After the early 1960th, when the Massa-movement destroyed most of the important Senufo objects, only a few old, authentic Rhythm Pounders were saved and came to the Western world. There are no sculptures from the time before 1960 existing anymore in the Senufo region of Ivory Coast, Burkina and Mali. But in some rural regions the old animistic tradition is still existing and also the funeral ceremonies, in which the déblé rhythm pounder has its ritual function…
Lit.: Anita J. Glaze, Art and Death in a Senufo Village, Indiana University Press, Bloomington 1981. Robert Goldwater, Senufo Sculpture from West Africa – The Museum of Primitive Art New York, 1964. acques Kerchache, Jean-Louis Paudrat and Lucien Stéphan, Art of Africa, New York, 1993. Hans-Joachim Koloss, Till Förster, Die Kunst der Senufo, Elfenbeinküste, 1979. Burkhard Gottschalk, Senufo. Massa und die Statuen des Poro, Düsseldorf 2002. Till Förster, Smoothing the Way of the Dead, A Senufo Rhythm Pounder, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2005): 54ff., ill.
3.600 – 4.000,- Euro
Height: 122 cm
Weight: 12.4 kg