A Senufo Equestrian figure, Ivory Coast, a horse with full carved face having an open mouth, carrying a rider, which is slightly tilted, with short legs, rounded buttocks, a flaring pointed torso with a pointed navel surrounded by ornamental scarification patterns, rounded shoulders, a cylindrical neck supporting an elongated head with a protruding mouth and linear scarifications, characteristic for the Senufo south style, surmounted by a chameleon; reddish patina, partly encrusted, traces of age and ritual use, partially eroded.
The Senufo ‘associate horses with leadership, wealth, status, hunting and militarism. Riders sculpted by Senufo artists are often armed with spears at the ready. They represent the multi-dimensional powers of madabele (forest or ‘bush’ spirits). In equestrian statuary a bush spirit is shown as a forceful, well-armed leader, or fanhafolo (‘power-owner’). Bush spirits are capricious, fast-traveling, nocturnal, mysterious and aggressive. (…) Such figures are display pieces in a diviner’s or priest’s shrine where. . . they connote luxury, good taste and prestige’ (Cole 1983: 11-13).
Lit.: Burkhard Gottschalk, Senufo. Massa und die Statuen des Poro, 2002; Staatliche Museen der Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Museum für Völkerkunde Berlin, Die Kunst der Senufo, Elfenbeinküste. Mit einem Beitrag von Till Förster, 1990; Museum Rietberg Zürich, Die Kunst der Senufo aus Schweizer Sammlungen, 1988; Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi, Senufo unbound. Dynamics of art and identity in West Africa, Cleveland 2015.
500 – 600,- Euro
Height: 54 cm
Weight: 1,70 kg