Friday, June 03, 2011

The Senufo Horse Figure of Ivory Coast ...

In the life of the Senufo, resident in the Ivory Coast, this important equestrian figure belonged to a fortuneteller and was called “siyonfolo” or “master of the horse”

The horse stands for wealth and is associated with a chief or a rich man. The expressive figure symbolizes a bush ghost who, in connection with the fortune-teller, helped with important decisions. The contrasting colours of the equestrian and the body of the horse and his legs, which resulted from plants during usage, can be recognized clearly.

The headpiece resembles an abstract hornbill, this “calao” is ever-present in many figures and masks of the Senufo and suggests the mythological origin of the tribe.

The abstract composition of the piece, which comes from the region of Korhogo in the populated north of the country, is outstanding. Whereby simple bush ghost figures, “tugubele”, are often to be seen in trade, the high-quality equestrian figures are considered very rare. The slightly tilted head lends the object additional liveliness.

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