Seated female figure

20th century
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Cote d'Ivoire


53.34 cm (21 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art



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.


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