A Senufo facemask, Kpellie

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Lot 2523
A Senufo facemask, Kpellie
height 13 1/8in

Sold for US$ 13,200 inc. premium
A Senufo facemask, Kpellie
Ivory Coast, of classical form, with numerous appendages and excellent dark rich surface.
height 13 1/8in

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Pace Gallery, NY

    Exhibited:
    Governors State University, IL, 2003
    Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003
    Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004
    Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005

    Published:
    Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.10, fig.24

    Masks such as this example were used in funerary contexts within the Poro society among the Senufo. The dancers, imitating women’s delicate and graceful gestures, would dance with iron staves toped by three small bells. Though certain uniformity exists within this masking tradition, there are subtle and often graceful variations that can accent the basic structure. This example has down-turned horns and simplified, heavy volumes on its side panels. Crowned by a narrow crest, this mask harmoniously integrates the usual shapes of the standard form into a seemingly simple combination that is deceivingly complex in its balance.
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