Requires Photography

Funerary bed

African, Ivory Coast, Senufo peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Cote d'Ivoire


Overall: 27 x 42 x 183 cm (10 5/8 x 16 9/16 x 72 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Seating and beds

The Senufo peoples of West Africa have elaborate funerary ceremonies that can last for several days. Masquerades are performed by members of the Poro men’s society and masqueraders help to usher the newly deceased into the “village of the dead”. Throughout the funerary process, there is an elaborate exchange of gifts between the deceased’s family and other members of the community. A deceased elder would likely have been placed on a funerary bed similar to this one before the funerary rituals begin.


1987, sold by Galerie Majestic, Paris, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart