A Senufo Kpelié mask


In stock

Category: SKU: BBC02798


A Senufo Kpelié mask, made of brass, the oval face with scarifications around the nose, a domed, bulging forehead beneath two bent horns and a scepter in the middle, pierced through at the rim for attachments; a fine brass patina, partly greenish and encrusted, traces of ritual use and age, the rim partly damaged.

Kpelie-masks were worn during funeral sessions By the Poro society. These funeral festivities are marked by masquerades, which symbolically expresses the fundamental dualities in Senufo Thought: mal/female, body, spitit, life/death. In general this type of mask is symbolizing an ideal woman. The unique features which characterize the Kpelie mask include elongated flanges radiating from the bottom part of the mask, which are a reference to the hornbill bird. The horns on the mask refer to the ram, an important sacrificial animal. The nodules on the forehead represent palm nuts as well as vulvas; they are flanked by cicatrization marks that symbolize the twins born to the primordial couple.The significance of the double face are not known, but double- and single- faced Kpelie are used interchangably. A Doublehead Senufo Kpelie MaskHolas, B., L´Art Sacré Sénoufo, Limoges, 1978, Facing the Mask, Herreman, Frank, Museum for African Art. s. publ.

Lit.: Holas, Bohumil, L’art sacré sénoufo. Ses différentes expressions dans la vie sociale, Limoges, 1978. Herreman, Frank, Facing the Mask, Museum for African Art, New York, 2002. Till Foerster, Divination bei den Kafibele-Senufo. Zur Aushandlung und Bewältigung von Alltagskonflikten, Berlin, 1985. Wolfgang Jaenicke, Forbidden games. Kat. Ausst. Die Kunst der Senufo: Elfenbeinküste. Mit einem Beitrag von Till Förster, Staatliche Museen der Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Museum für Völkerkunde Berlin, 16.11.1990 – 24.2.1991, Berlin 1990; Lorenz Homberger: Künstler in Werkstätten der Senufo. In: Eberhard Fischer/Lorenz Homberger: Afrikanische Meister. Kunst der Elfenbeinküste, Zurüch 2014, p. 151-178; Die Kunst der Senufo, Museum Rietberg Zürich, aus Schweizer Sammlung, Zürich 1988.

Youtube Video: “What is Senufo?”, Cleveland Museum, by Constantine Petridis.

900 – 1.000,- Euro

Height: 27 cm
Weight: 1060 g (incl. stand)

Additional information

Weight 1.060 kg