Pair of Degele figures - Senufo - Ivory Coast

Couple of anthropomorphic statues adorning African Dégélé masks in Senoufo art

These African figures, coming from the corpus of Senoufo art, with the ringed neck were in fact present at the top of the mask Dégélé presented by pair. The astonishing particularity of the African characters represented here, deprived of arms, with truncated legs, comes from the fact that the construction of a long neck in cylinder, adorned with sharp outlines in zigzags, was also extended to the torso, also stretched vigorously, as if to raise the face, a little condescending. Is this formal element inspired by the twisted fabric that surrounds the bodies of the deceased? This is a hypothesis, but the most widely accepted is that in Côte d'Ivoire, one of the signs of beauty, for a woman, not only in Senoufo, but in other regions, is to have a neck lengthened, with slight folds that form the skin, and that can gently caress. Here, by the feat of the sculptor, this same fold was deployed in a rhythmic repetition, a living series of sinuous contours, but it was also extended to the torso, in a cascade of abstract representations. This two-faceted ring motif is also characteristic of many parts of Mali, and seems very old, since it is found on terracotta of the inner Niger Delta and on some wooden Bamana statuettes. female headdress. This pair of authentic figures has been sold to a collector by our specialized gallery, the reference in Belgium.

Origin : private collection V. Briard, FranceDating : 1940Size : 47 x 8 cmWeight : 1,3 kgMaterial : wood

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
1st half XXth century
Expert's estimate
Ethnic group
Ivory Coast
Tribal art collection France

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