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Senufo ceremonial drum, African, Ivory Coast

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: African: Sculpture: Pre 1900: item # 967354

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Senufo ceremonial drum, African, Ivory Coast

Ceremonial ritual drum, pinge, Senufo people, African Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), Korhogo region. Circa 1890. Wood and hide, carved in the form of a bare breasted tribal woman seated on a stool, supporting the drum with her arms. The drum is adorned with various symbols including an animal mask, lizards, stork, crocodile, axe, and biting beast. The female figure wears stylized amulets on her wrists and has scarified markings on her breasts and stomach. The drum head is fashioned from animal hide attached with rawhide, stretched over protruding pegs. Size: 33" high x 12" diameter. Condition: excellent, with some minor age cracks. There are three tiny holes in the hide drum head. The Senufo are known for their wood carving, a craft practiced by the males of the tribe. However, women are regarded as providing the strength and power of the tribe, thus the symbol of the woman supporting the drum, just as she supports the tribe. These ritual drums were used to summon spirits at special occasions, such as at funerals or at ceremonies initiating young men into adulthood. This is a rare and early example of the primitive carver's art. A very similar example is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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