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Artifact: Ancestor Figure


Origin: African Coastal Region

Embark on a captivating journey into the heart of the Senufo culture from the northern reaches of Côte d’Ivoire as you explore the intricate world of their sculptures. This collection, deeply intertwined with the cultural tapestry of the Senufo people, sheds light on the profound significance of the Poro society and its guiding force, the enigmatic “Ancient Mother.”

Central to the Senufo experience, the Poro society acts as a guardian of religious and historical traditions, providing a sense of continuity for its adult male members. These men, by virtue of their belonging to Poro, become stewards of a rich heritage that is passed down through generations. The sculptures on display serve as tangible expressions of this heritage, offering a glimpse into the spiritual and instructional facets of Senufo life.

The initiation rites of the Poro society mark a crucial juncture in the lives of young Senufo men, and the sculptural figures play a pivotal role in this transformative process. Crafted with precision and cultural resonance, these figures become instructors, conveying essential knowledge and wisdom to the initiates. The artistry embedded in each sculpture speaks volumes about the skill of the Senufo artisans and the cultural depth encapsulated in their creations.

As you delve into the details of these ancestral figures, you’ll discover a nuanced narrative that weaves together spirituality, tradition, and the transmission of knowledge. The artistic language of the Senufo people is one that communicates across time and space, inviting you to connect with a heritage that is both unique and universal.

In bringing these sculptures to light, we invite you to contemplate the intricate threads that bind the Senufo community, the Poro society, and the timeless resonance of the “Ancient Mother” guiding them through the ages.


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