Wood with black patina
H. 45 cm
Anthropomorphic ointment jar, Senufo people
H. 17 3/4 in
- Emil Storrer, Zurich
- Private collection
The Sénoufos are a farming people from West Africa living in the so-called "three frontiers" region, Ivory Coast, Mali and Burkina Faso. The villages are governed by a council of elders, the secret initiatory societies, such as the Poro, which play a fundamental role in the life of the community.
Their artistic productions, often elegant and refined, were very early prized by the European market and have been the subject of numerous publications.
Our sculpture bears witness to the daily life of the Sénoufos and depicts a woman carrying a Kanari vase on her head. Standing firmly on a circular base, the legs form a stirrup from which an elegant torso with bracketed arms rises. The prognathic and scarred face shows a serene expression. The back is decorated with multiple scarification marks and suggests that it belongs to a famous sculpture workshop, one of whose works is kept in the Troppen Museum in Amsterdam.