Senufo Bolon Koukapya Musical Instrument

Rare items to find undamaged, due to the nature of use.

Senufo Korikaariye

Tribe: Senufo

Origin: Ivory Coast

Approx Age: 1960’s

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: 86 x 13 x 13

Ref. Number: 1716



A well used Senufo Bolon Koukapya musical instrument from the Ivory Coast. These are quite rare as they get damaged and worn out from extensive use. They produce a sound by sliding a stick up and down the ribbed sides of the structure whilst being held against the body of the player as well as being beaten by the stick.

Provenance: Ex-private UK collection collected in the early 1970s.


Regionally, the Senufo are famous as musicians and superb carvers of wood sculpture, masks, and figurines. The Senufo people have specialized their art and handicraft work by subgroups, wherein the art is learnt within this group, passed from one generation to the next. The Kulubele specialize as woodcarvers, the Fonombele specialize in blacksmith and basketry work, the Kpeembele specialize in brass casting, the Djelebele are renowned for leatherwork, the Tchedumbele are masters of gunsmith work, while Numu specializes in smithing and weaving.

Outside the artisan subgroups, the Senufo people have hunters, musicians, grave-diggers, diviners, and healers who are called the Fejembele.  Among these various subgroups, the leatherworkers or Djelebele are the ones who have most adopted Islam, although those who convert retain many of their animist practices.

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