Seated Female Figure

Dogon peoples, Mali

Wood

Gift of Michael, Anne, Keil and Jessica Mello

7 x 26 x 7.25 in

Sculptures that once served in sacred contexts may now be made for sale,
for a foreign clientele that does not ascribe the same meaning or purposes to the art. While this type of figure may once have been used during
the initiation rites of Senufo youth, it is now a symbol of ethnicity and
cultural identity in the broader context of an international art market. Hairstyles and scarification patterns are among the most powerful ways to convey one’s ethnic origins and personal history through figurative sculpture. The radiating scarification pattern that bisects the navel is the crystallisation of Senufo feminine identity.

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