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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Senufo Sculptures : Senufo Wooden Sculpture of a Woman
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Senufo Wooden Sculpture of a Woman - PF.5722
Origin: Northern Ivory Coast/Mali
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 25.25" (64.1cm) high
Collection: African
Medium: Wood

Additional Information: Hong Kong
Location: Great Britain
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This wooden sculpture might be the representation of the Senufo goddess Kalieleo. She is the female counterpart of Koulo Tiolo, the Creator who was thought to be asleep, and thus was never depicted in sculptural form. However, the representations of Kalieleo are very widespread in the Senufo art. She was the guardian mother of the village, protector of the Poro, a secret society of males responsible with passing on the sacred knowledge of the physical and spiritual world. She can be represented alone or giving the breast to a child. In this sculpture, she holds two small infants at her sides, just below her voluptuous breasts where marks of decorative scarification are evident. She is draped in a loincloth covering her genitalia and wears various armbands and a necklace with a pentagonal pendant. Her hair has been braided into an elaborate coiffure that has been elegantly carved. Clearly this statue represents a woman of importance and majesty. She has elegant jewelry, scars which were considered marks of beauty, and most importantly two children, obvious indications of her fecundity. Whether or not this woman is the goddess Kalieleo can be questioned; however, one cannot doubt the significance of this sculpture as a symbol of beauty and fertility. - (PF.5722)


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