Sejien hornbill figure - ROM2004_946_9


Sejien hornbill figure

Maker: Senufo
Medium:Wood, pigment
Geography: Ivory Coast
Date: 20th century
157 × 65 × 37 cm
Object number: 989.283.2
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. John David Eaton
Not on view
DescriptionThis large sculpture is said to represent the hornbill, one of the Senufo’s primordial animals, but there is no unanimous interpretation of the meaning of this striking figure. Sejien carvings were kept in the sacred forest. They were used by men in the final stages of the rites of initiation to the secret Poro societies. Referred to as the “mother of Poro,” this sculpture refers to Poro leadership and of the authority of the elders. Since the early 20th century, these objects have become popular with art collectors and have been produced also as commercial sculptures for the consumption of urban elites and international customers. 
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