Skip to product information
1 of 20


Senufo double-headed kpelié mask

Senufo double-headed kpelié mask

Regular price €600,00 EUR
Regular price Sale price €600,00 EUR
Sale Sold out

Senufo double-headed kpelié mask, Ivory Coast, of oval form, the thin rim pierced for attachment, four projections characteristic for this mask type decorated differently, two almost identical faces, each with a round protruding mouth pointed by a lip, decorated with small squares (the teeth), a narrow pointed nose framed by pierced, very narrow eye slits and geometrical scarification marks around the eyes and forehead, a bulging forehead with a nodule, on top of the mask two small horns and a curved plate with spikes and two human firgures above the forehead; fine dark patina, obvious signs of use and age with partial encrustations.

Kpelie-masks were worn during funeral sessions by the Poro society. These funeral festivities are marked by masquerades, which symbolically expresses the fundamental dualities in Senufo Thought: male/female, body/spirit, life/death. In general this type of mask is symbolizing an ideal woman. The unique features which characterize the Kpelié mask include elongated flanges radiating from the bottom part of the mask, which are a reference to the hornbill bird. The horns on the mask refer to the ram, an important sacrificial animal. The nodules on the forehead represent palm nuts as well as vulvas; they are flanked by cicatrization marks that symbolize the twins born to the primordial couple. The significance of the double face are not known, but double- and single- faced Kpelié are used interchangably. Facing the Mask, Herreman, Frank, Museum for African Art. s. publ.

Lit.: Holas, Bohumil, L'art sacré sénoufo. Ses différentes expressions dans la vie sociale, Limoges, 1978. Herreman, Frank, Facing the Mask, Museum for African Art, New York, 2002. Till Foerster, Divination bei den Kafibele-Senufo. Zur Aushandlung und Bewältigung von Alltagskonflikten, Berlin, 1985. Wolfgang Jaenicke, Forbidden games. Kat. Ausst. Die Kunst der Senufo: Elfenbeinküste. Mit einem Beitrag von Till Förster, Staatliche Museen der Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Museum für Völkerkunde Berlin, 16.11.1990 - 24.2.1991, Berlin 1990; Lorenz Homberger: Künstler in Werkstätten der Senufo. In: Eberhard Fischer/Lorenz Homberger: Afrikanische Meister. Kunst der Elfenbeinküste, Zurüch 2014, p. 151-178; Die Kunst der Senufo, Museum Rietberg Zürich, aus Schweizer Sammlung, Zürich 1988.

700 - 900,- Euro (incl. stand)

Height: 43 cm
Weight: 1,4 kg (incl. stand)

View full details
  • Shipping

    Share the details of your shipping policy.

  • Returns

    Share the details of your return policy.

Image with text

Pair text with an image

Pair text with an image to focus on your chosen product, collection, or artist. Add details on availability, style, or even provide a review.

Image with text

Pair text with an image to provide extra information about your brand or collections.