SENUFO RHYTHM POUNDER FIGURES, Ivory Coast


 

SENUFO
Figure 13
42.5" high
$600

 

SENUFO
Figure 14
30" high
$800


 

SENUFO
Figure 18
45" high
$600



SENUFO
Figure 19
43.5" high
$600

SENUFO
Figure 20
45.5" high
$600

SENUFO
Figure 22
46.5" high
$800



SENUFO
Figure 24
45" high
$500

SENUFO
Figure 26
34" high
$500


SENUFO
Figure 28
51.5" high
$600

SENUFO
Figure 29
47,5" high
$500



SENUFO
Figure 31
37" high
$400

SENUFO
Figure 33
46.5" high
$400

Photographs © Hamill Gallery

SENUFO, RHYTHM POUNDER FIGURES, Ivory Coast

These Senufo figures show no evidence of age or use and were probably made to be sold.

The rhythm pounder (deble) from the Senufo people of the Ivory Coast was once a crucial prop in both commemorative ancestral rites and in initiations of adolescents to adult society; it was also a benevolent symbol of fertility and a conduit to the departed.

The few known male and female rhythm pounder pairs are thought to represent the primordial couple, referred to as 'Pombibele', which means "those who gave birth".

Typically it is female figures are represented and it has been speculated that these single figures are one of a pair, the location of the other being unknown. According to Anita Glaze (in Barbier, ed. 1993: 44), however, 'not all funerary sculpture is commissioned as a pair, nor do all relatively large scale processional display figures necessarily belong to the primordial couple category. A poro society may possess one or more single figures that were initially commissioned as a result of a member's visionary encounter with spirits in dreams or while alone in the fields.'

These pounders were traditionally used at funeral ceremonies for Poro society members. In some areas, they are actually pounded, at others, they are gathered at the center of the ceremonial grounds.

Sources: Sotheby's, A History of Art in Africa

Copied from the very informative site:  www.randafricanart.com

 

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