SENUFO TUGUBELE SEATED FEMALE FIGURE

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Senufo

Ivory Coast

Wood..

13.25" (33.7 cm) Tall.
Jean-Pierre Hallet Estate Collection

Estimated Early 20th Century.

JPH042215_03

Currently Available

 

Small wooden antropomorphic statuettes were used by Senufo diviners, called Sando'o, to communicate with helpful spirits living in the wilderness. The name tugubele applies to both the spirits and the mediating statuettes. Artists creating tugubele followed closely the instructions given to them by the diviner who would have been told certain details about the figure's required appearance, gender, posture, scarification marks etc. directly by the spirit. Diviners were contacted by the spirits often while they were sleeping in the form of a dream.

See Foerster (1988: 79-80) for further discussion.

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