Senufo Kpeleyayo Fetish Mask
Rare Senufo Poro society fetish mask known as ‘Kpeleyayo’
Approx Age: 1970-80s
Materials: Wood, feathers, (offerings?)
Dimensions cm: 54 x 23
Ref. Number: 1460
A very rare Senufo Kpeleyayo fetish mask found in a village in the Korhogo region known as ‘
This mask is thick with libations from the Shamen for the ancestors and the Poro society, to the point of being hard to make out its original definition.
There are a number of revered ancestor and nature spirits among the Senufo.
The Senufo people emerged as a group sometime within the 15th or 16th century. They were a significant part of the 17th to 19th-century Kenedougou Kingdom (literally “country of the plain”) with the capital of Sikasso. This region saw many wars including the rule of Daoula Ba Traoré, a cruel despot who reigned between 1840 and 1877. The Islamisation of the Senufo people began during this historical period of the Kénédougou Kingdom, but it was the chiefs who converted, while the general Senufo population refused. Daoula Ba Traoré attempted to convert his kingdom to Islam, destroying many villages within the kingdom such as Guiembe and Nielle in 1875 because they resisted his views. The Kénédougou dynastic rulers attacked their neighbours as well, such as the Zarma people and they, in turn, counterattacked many times between 1883 and 1898.
The pre-colonial wars and violence led to their migration into Burkina Faso in regions that became towns such as Tiembara in Kiembara Department. The Kénédougou kingdom and the Traoré dynasty were dissolved in 1898 with the arrival of French colonial rule.
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