Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : African & Tribal Art : Senufo Sculptures : Senufo Hornbill Heddle Pulley
Click to view original image.
Senufo Hornbill Heddle Pulley - PF.5827
Origin: Ivory Coast
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 5.5" (14.0cm) high x 3.25" (8.3cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Wood

Location: United States
Currency Converter
Place On Hold
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Photo Gallery
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
"Nobody likes to live without beautiful things," replied a Guro weaver when asked why he hung a decoratively carved pulley on his wooden post loom set up beneath a mango tree. The decorative features of West African heddle pulleys -- devices that hold the heddles in looms -- are created solely for aesthetic satisfaction, and have no ritual or magical purpose. The delicately carved figure on the pulley peers down at the weaver as he works and becomes his constant visual companion. The formal composition of these small pieces shows great virtuosity and variation: the artists strive for originality, ingenuity, elegance, and imaginative effects.

Naturalistic faces occur rarely on pulleys. Senufo artists draw upon a wide repertoire of facial styles that appear on statues for spirits and masks. This heddle pulley takes on the form of the elongated beak of the hornbill. The Senufo refer to the hornbill as the "master among the birds" because of its sexuality (the phallic beak) and intelligence. "Master," as a title in the men's Poro society, connotes intelligence, creativity, and mastery of a particular skill, such as weaving. The shape of the bird shown here is abstract and imaginative; it also shows the delicacy, smoothness of finish, and skillful composition that are prized by African carvers.
- (PF.5827)


Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2023 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting