Senufo ‘Boloye’ Panther Costume

The Senufo Boloye panther costume & mask represents the panther in dance and is accompanied by a bolongo (1 string harp-lute).

Tribe: Senufo

Origin: Ivory Coast / Mali

Approx Age: Later 20th Century

Materials: Bogolan cloth

Dimensions cm: Fits a standard male mannequin

Ref. Number: 1051


Senufo Boloye panther costume for the “dance of the Panther”, these are very ill-fitting costumes but for a very good purpose, the wearers of this costume would perform an array of different acrobatics in front of an audience being accompanied by gourd string instruments. The bottom of the legs is very ‘sand worn’ due to the costume being bigger than the wearer and being under his feet.


The traditional Boloye dance, also called Panther dance, of the Sénoufo people used to be a funeral dance but is nowadays a dance of rejoicing, however, it has kept its sacred character.

Senufo, also spelt Senoufo, a group of closely related peoples of northern Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and southeastern Mali. They speak at least four distinct languages (Palaka, Dyimini, and Senari in Côte d’Ivoire and Suppire in Mali), which belong to the Gur branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Within each group, numerous subdivisions use their own names for the people and language; the name Senufo is of external origin. Palaka separated from the main Senufo stock well before the 14th century AD; at about that time, with the founding of the town of Kong as a Bambara trade-route station, the rest of the population began migrations to the south, west, and north, resulting in the present divisions.


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