A Senufo Kpelié Mask, of oval hollowed form, the diminuitive jutting fascial plane with open mouth carved teeth, the slender, elongated nose with a raised ridge framed by sliteyes, tapering horns on each side, the mask is surrounded with abstract appendages of different geometric forms, at the rim holes for attachments, surmounted by a seated figure; aged, blackened patina, collected in the Sirasso region, 40 km South-West from Korhogo.
Lit.: About the technique: Förster, Till, Glänzend wie Gold. Gelbguss bei den Senufo, Elfenbeinküste. 1987 Berlin, Museum für Völkerkunde.
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.
Holas Bohumil, Les Senoufo (y compris les Minianka), Institute International Africain, Presses Universitaires de France, 1957, 181 Pages, First Edition.
700 – 900,- Euro
Height: 46 cm
Weight: 1,3 kg