SENUFO, IVORY COAST
WOOD, , HEIGHT 130CM
Various large bird sculptures were used during Poro initiation ceremonies. Some were just standing on the ground while others were held aloft by the initiates. The hornbill was believed to be the mythical founder of the Senufo and features prominently in their rites. This particular statue is a symbol of fertility with the bird held high up and it’s beak touching the prominent stomach. This statue was purchased in 1976 at an art shop in Cape Town. I just happened to walk past this shop when out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed this unusual statue. In between the cheap curio items, it stood out like a holy figure with outstretched arms and towering over all else. I knew it was Senufo and walked out with it 2 minutes later.