Senufo Tradition

According to Wikipedia, the Senufo are “an ethnolinguistic group composed of diverse sub-groups of Gur-speaking people living in an area spanning from southern Mali and the extreme western corner of Burkina Fosa to Katiola in Côte d vour.”

Ever seen a sculpture similar to this??


More than likely it belongs to the family of what is ‘called’ Senufo….

So, once again I made a much anticipated trip to the Cleveland Museum or Art to check out one of the visiting exhibits.  This time I had particular interest because not only do I have a modest collection of Afrikan sculptures and masks, but as I strive to live an Afrikan-centered lifestyle, being introduced to yet another unknown piece of puzzle simply excites me. 

The four things that were most prominently seen throughout the exhibit were:

The extensive list of museums that loaned some of the sculpturesMuseum of Primitive Art (NY), Art Institute of Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), New Orleans Museum of Art (which at first glance looks eerily similar to the southern side of the Cleveland Museum of Art), National Museum of Abidjan, Afrika Museum in the Netherlands, Royal Museum for Central Africa-TurvurenNational Museum of Art D.C.  After visiting the websites of these museums, I realized how important it is to travel!

Male/female associations and intitations:  Tyekpa women’s association, part of the ‘poro’ initiation called kworo, male pork initiation association, female Sandogo association, and the Nyikari association of healers.

Materials used to create the various sculptures:  plastic, cowrie shells, shea butter, lots of copper alloy, some brass, tin, lead, iron, cotton, leather, resin, zinc, and mostly wood.

There were bowls of terracotta, a beautiful wooden ladle with an ancient mother sitting (reminiscent of the duafe Adinkra symbol), strainers, caryatid vessels, and there was a board game called awele (which looked a lot like mancala).

Regions and Languages:  Jula speaking community, Mianka language, being Minianka is to speak Minianka, Ciwara, a Banana language, Mande language, Mono power association, Korhogo region, Dikodougou region, Toussian and Siamou communities.


Needless to say, the experience was wonderful and I want to learn more about this whole regional connection.  I have a lot of homework to do!

Recognize this shot?

It’s the Cleveland Museum of Art atrium used in the Avengers movie?

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