A large male Senufo Guardian sculpture
A large male Senufo Guardian sculpture from the Region of Korogho, village Tingrela, related to the well known Rhythm Pounders or "Deblé", standing on a cylindrical base, carrying a double-edged knife in the left hand and a fetish bell in the right hand. On the top of the head sits a plaque attachment with an X carved out in the middle. The plaque attachment means that the object plays a double role: First it is a field guard and second it plays a ceremonial role. Heavy hard "Lenke" wood (not a Senari a Djula word), on the plaque small remnants of white pigments. Provenance: M. Cabinet, Bouaké, Ivory Coast.
.Burkhard Gottschalk writes that this is not a rhythm pounder (Débéle, do:ogèlè), but a very rare stationary used guardian figure. These sculptures are called propi:ibèlè, „children of the Poro".
"Their membership of the Poro would be an explanation for our little knowledge of their significance, because this organisation, which largely determines the village world of the Senufo, is a secret society. ... Even rarer are the statues [propi:ibèlè] … of which it is only said that they belong to the Poro, because there is no reliable information about their use.“ Burkhard Gottschalk, Kunst aus Schwarzafrika. SENUFO. Unbekannte Schätze aus privaten Sammlungen, 2009, p.174, 179.
Lit.: Burkhard Gottschalk, Senufo. Massa und die Statuen des Poro, 2002; Staatliche Museen der Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Museum für Völkerkunde Berlin, Die Kunst der Senufo, Elfenbeinküste. Mit einem Beitrag von Till Förster, 1990; Museum Rietberg Zürich, Die Kunst der Senufo aus Schweizer Sammlungen, 1988; Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi, Senufo unbound. Dynamics of art and identity in West Africa, Cleveland 2015 page 78, Fig. 41 Private collection McClain Gallery, Houston, Sothebys, 14 November, 2008, Lot 63.
Height: 144 cm
Weight: 9,5 kg