Seated female figure

Senufo peoples
20th century
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Cote d'Ivoire

Dimensions

53.34 cm (21 in.)

Accession Number

1996.375

Medium or Technique

Wood

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Sculpture

In the widespread villages of the Senufo, a female association called Sandogo promotes women’s knowledge of healing, divination, and social order. Sculptures such as this one were featured in funeral rites and other ceremonies that promoted social cohesion. This figure, carried in funerary processions by an elderly female, shows a woman seated on a birthing stool and bearing on her head another stool that may symbolize the rebirth of her spirit in the next world.

Provenance

1905, said to have been received as a gift in Tunisia by an American physician; until about 1993, by descent to his granddaughter; about 1993, sold by the granddaughter to Pace Primitive and Ancient Art, New York (stock no. 51-5993); September 19, 1994, sold by Pace Primitive and Ancient Art to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1996, partial gift of William and Bertha Teel to the MFA; 2014, acquired fully with the bequest of William Teel to the MFA. (Accession Dates: December 18, 1996 and February 26, 2014)

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel