A Senufo ritual staff, Northern Ivory Coast, Bundiali region, on top a mater lactans (nursing mother), sitting on a wooden stool, short legs, very long arms holding the drinking child, notched back line, broad and flat gluteae, long scarification marks on the pointedly projected breasts, bracelets around the upper arms, a medallion around the neck, large, protruding eyes, slightly opened bulging mouth with scarification marks at the corners of the mouth, also at the temples, crested hairstyle with a pony-like braid in front of the face and further braids on the sides and at the back of the head, the child lying on its back, drinking with a large, round mouth, its eyes closed with relish, four snakes winding over four coils on the upper staff, just below the stool; dark brown patina, on the lower part of the staff well-worn from ritual use.
Lit.: Carl Einstein, Negerplastik, Leipzig, 1915, Fig. 12A/B and plate 12. Jean-Paul Barbier, ed., Art of Cote d´Ivoire, Genève, 1933, vol. 1, p. 103, fig. 100. Anita Glaze, Art and Death in a Senufo Village, Indiana University Press, 1981, plate 16. Cole, Herbert M. Maternity: mothers and children in the arts of Africa. Antwerp: Mercatorfonds, 2017. Glaze, Anita. “Woman Power and Art in a Senufo Village.” African Arts 8 (3, 1975): 24-29, 64-68, 90-91.
400 – 500
Height: 134 cm
Weight: 2,8 kg