SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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|Senufo, Côte d'Ivoire|
It is likely that this inventive and endlessly fascinating figure once formed the top of a sacred staff of Poro Society of the Senufo. Perhaps the most well explained narrative of this and other figures of the Poro society was offered in the exhibition “Genesis: Ideas of Origin in African Sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art”, Alissa LaGamma (2002: 30 et seq.). LaGamma explains: "According to the Senufo account of genesis, Kolotyolo, the creator, gave life to the first man and woman, who became the first human couple. The woman conceived and gave birth to twins, a girl and a boy. [...] The ideal of human male-female duality [...] also informs Senufo conceptions of the divine, especially the bipartite deity that is central to Senufo religious belief. Kolotyolo, the male aspect of divinity responsible for creation and 'bringing us forth,' is a benevolent but relatively remote presence who is balanced by a more accessible female dimension known as Katyeleeo, or Ancient Mother. She is a divine protectress responsive to the needs of the community.“
“Within Senufo society, an optimal relationship with this divinity and the ancestors is assured through Poro, an initiation-based organization whose teachings also prepare members for responsible and enlightened leadership. Participation in Poro is universal among Senufo males, who safeguard their community's social and political welfare by making frequent sacrifices to the ancestors - conceived as past children of Ancient Mother - so that they may intercede on behalf of her current, living children. "A Senufo village is composed of a series of residential settlements known as katiolo. In a large village, each has its own Poro society, set of initiates, and sacred sanctuary, or sinzanga, situated in a dense grove of trees beside the village. [...] Although Poro is essentially a male institution, the most important ancestor invoked is the woman who was the head of the sinzanga's founding matrilineage. Anita Glaze suggests that this emphasis on female ancestral origins is reflected in Poro-sculptural couples, the majority of which interpret the female as the dominant of the two figures. Such 'ancestral couples' are the primary sculptural form used by Poro and are displayed on the occasion of a distinguished member's funeral. A preoccupation with ancestral origins is articulated visually in [the figures] through the treatment of the navels. [A] protruding, herniated navel [...] evokes the remnant of the umbilical cord. Glaze notes that this feature serves as a reminder of the matrilineage that reaches back to Ancient Mother. A variation on this idea is expressed through the highly abstract motif that [often, as the case in the Kunin statue] accents the female figure's navel. It consists of four sets of three or four parallel lines that radiate horizontally and vertically out from the navel at its center. Known as kunoodyaadye, which translates as 'navel of mother' or 'mother of twins,' this design is used to ornament the body of Senufo women at puberty. Kunoodyaadye synthesizes references to the Senufo creation myth and to the role of women as the matrices of life and the guarantors of social continuity."
|Lot ID: 25|
|Low Estimate: $1,500|
|High Estimate: $3,500|
|Next Bid: $800|
|Sale ID: 6|
|Sale Date: July 28, 2016|
|Sale Location: Virtual Auction|
|Sale Sponsor: African Artworks from Berz Gallery of African Art|
|Sale Terms: View here|
|Live Bidding Link: SALE CLOSED|
|Location of Origin: Africa|
|Medium/Materials: wood (one piece), pigment stain, oils|
|Dimensions: 7" (17.78 cm) height|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Côte d'Ivoire|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Statue|
|Scattered across the Ivory Coast, Mali and Burkina Faso, the million and a half Senufo tribespeople live principally off the fruits of agriculture and occasionally hunting. They inhabit villages governed by a council of elders, who in turn are led by a chief elected from their number. Tribal cohesion is reinforced through the rituals of the Poro society who initiate and educate the men from the age of seven onwards. Senufo theology is based on Koulotiolo, a powerful god, and Katieleo, a goddess mother, who through the rituals of the Poro society, regenerates the world. (passage source J.L. Bacquart, Tribal Arts of Africa); Further expertise and reading: Senufo Unbound: Susan E. Gagliardi, 2015, Glaze, "Art and Death in a Senufo Village", "Goldwater, Senufo Sculpture", La Gamma, A. “Art and Oracle, African Art and Rituals of Divination”, Metropolitan Museum of Art Press|
|Provenance: Ex. Private Collection Al Farrow, US, (renowned American artist/sculptor, work featured 2008 and 2009 at Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco, in “In the Name of God: War, Religion, and the Reliquaries of Al Farrow”, and multiple museum shows)|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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