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A male Senufo Guardian

A male Senufo Guardian

Regular price €2.800,00 EUR
Regular price Sale price €2.800,00 EUR
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A male Senufo Guardian sculpture or Rhythm-Pounder (Déblé) of the Northern Ivory Coast, close to the border to Mali, uprising from a cylindrical, slightly conical base, the shortened legs without feet, which suggests a more archaic type of this figure, the slender torso with a slightly arched belly and a pointed navel, the arms carved close to the torso with hands resting on the abdomen, the shoulders rounded, a thick columnar neck supports an oval head with a protruding mouth and almond-shaped eyes, the cap-shaped hairstyle seems to represent a stylized bird head; the figure is characterized by an old touch patina, which suggests a longlasting ritual use, remnants of sacrifications in particular on the shoulders, we are not quite sure whether it is a guardian figure or a rhythm pounder (Déblé). The size of the base allows both options. But usually, Déblé are bigger and their purpose for funeral- ceremonies is different. According to Gottschalk Guardian sculptures are rarer than Rhythm-Pounders.


According to Gottschalk, who tried to make a typology of the Senufo Sculptures these exemplare would be probably submitted to the group of the kulibèlè and not the fonombèlè.

"Während die ersteren (fonombèlè) entweder wegen mangelnder Fähigkeit zu feinerer Arbeit (the fonombèlè are the blacksmiths in the Senufo society) oder als bewußt eingesetztes Stilmittel die klaren und wuchtigen Formen, die kontrastierenden Waagerechten und Senkrechten weitgehend so beließen, wie sie bei der Festlegung der Proportionen entstanden waren, bemühen sich die kulibèlè (the traditional carver) um ein weiches Ineinanderfließen der Körperteile, soweit sie nicht den Stil ihrer älteren Brüder in ihre Arbeit aufnahmen oder ihn mehr oder weniger kopierten."

Gottschalk Burkhard, "Senufo, Massa und die Statuen des poro" 2002: 43.

More realistic sounds the opinion of Glaze, who described the difficulties of a stylistic typology according to both ethnic groups after she did fieldwork around kufulo (region of Dikodougou).

Burkhard Gottschalk, Kunst aus Schwarz Afrika, Senufo, Unbekannte Schätze aus privaten Sammlungen, S.173, 174, Glaze Anita J., "Art and Death in a Senufo Village", Indiana University Press, Bloomington 1981.

2.800 - 3.600,- Euro

Height: 103 cm

Weight: 5,6 kg

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