Lot: 223

84th Tribal Art Auction

Figure masculine debout "poro piibele" ou "doogele"

Côte d'Ivoire, Sénoufo

Provenance Taille Prix d’appel / Prix d'Estimation
Morton Lipkin, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
American Private Collection, New Jersey
Bonhams, New York, 11 November 2010, lot 6266
H: 103 cm Cet objet n’est plus disponible.

wood, blackish brown patina, kaolin, schematized facial features, symmetrical arranged limbs, rising from cylindrical base, slightly dam., cracks, small traces of insect caused damage, base; the Senufo distinguish two genres of sculpted standing figures in pairs. Both belong to the "poro" secret society whose most important duty was the "work of the dead", that is, the correct performance of the burial rites. These rites made sure that the three components of man - his life force, his body and his "shadow" - were properly separated and the dead transformed into a benevolent ancestor. Two sculpted standing figures - one male, the other always female - were erected in front of the "kpaala", a shelter where the rites were performed, in order to supervise their correct performance. These figures are known as "poro piibele" - "children of poro". The second genre are statues which were called "doogele", "pestles" in the vernacular language. Members of "poro" took the statues by the arms and pounded them on the soil in front of those who were carrying the dead body to the grave site, while other members of "poro" followed with the drums. The pounding underlined the rhythm of the music and "eased the way" of the dead. This ritual was a part of the deceased person's transformation into an ancestor. The two genres are impossible to distinguish on the basis of their appearance.

Clarke, Christa, African Art in the Barnes Collection, New York 2015, p. 94