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Re: Senoufo (to Paolo-W.)

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  • stellatebronze
    hello Paolo, I noticed from your previous posts you are quite a philosopher, but now I see quite a mindreader as well. I was afraid of going on too long
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 4, 2006
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      hello Paolo,
      I noticed from your previous posts you are quite a philosopher,
      but now I see quite a mindreader as well.
      I was afraid of going on too long before, but I was actually
      thinking of mentioning the Boli as a prime example of the type of
      power object whose complex form (particularly the internal
      compostion) and function are only partially understood as evidenced
      by xray studies that you mention. The other type of Komo object you
      discussed in the shape of a bird is pictured in the very nice book
      FORMS OF WONDERMENT published by the museum Berg En Dal and which be
      seen in their online collection, and another is shown in Nooter's
      book on secrecy, as I recall.
      As for Schwab's book, it takes a forced march to boil through its
      550+ double columned pages, I read it from cover to cover but I was
      on a mission. I would probably recommend for most people to check out
      the very interesting photos in the back of the book and call it a
      day. Most of the artwork featured in the book can be seen online at
      the Peabody museum, Cambridge-- most of the rest is in storage at
      Duke's art museum (Nasher).
      I have been reading the ethnographic literature for pure interest
      sake, but I have found that occasionally it has given me a slight
      technical edge in finding some unrecognized pieces for sale.
      regards,
      SB
      --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, paolo paretti <paolo@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi SB,
      >
      > in the future I will have probably only the possibility to read
      books
      > like "Djungle Ways" of William Seabrook
      > becausese the serious ethographic literature like George Schwab in
      > "Tribes in the Liberian hinterland".
      > becomes since some years so expensive, that my budget and my
      > scientific curiosity are always fightig against
      > eachother.
      >
      > Any how, nice to hear that somebody is reading both categorys of
      > literature.
      >
      > Here in Africa I am making very often the experience how strong
      the
      > animism in relation to human remains
      > and fetish objects is.
      >
      > I bought a "normal", quatroped "Wantchi" or "Boli" from a dealer
      in
      > Sikasso.
      > But there was also another Komo-fetish-object in shape of a bird
      with
      > a globular belly.
      > I hesitated a little bit to buy it, thinking about a Tribal Art
      > market, which dislikes "unknown pieces" and wellknowing
      > in general fetish objects aren´t easy to sell. The next day a
      > Parisian dealer got it.
      > Later I have heard, that they have made an analysis by X-rays with
      > the result:
      > Inside of the globular belly was a human scull.
      >
      > Paolo
      >
      >
      >
      > Am 28.11.2006 um 18:58 schrieb stellatebronze:
      >
      > > Hello,
      > > I can not help responding to the story of the cutting off of the
      > > hand of the grandfather because I have read about this before in a
      > > few old books. One book called JUNGLE WAYS by William Seabrook is
      a
      > > very curious read which chronicles the author's trip to the Ivory
      > > Coast and Liberia during the 1930's. He related the story of one
      man
      > > who kept his father's hand essentially as a fetish ( to use a
      > > politically incorrect term) which was used by his patri-clan for
      > > divination purposes. Such use is also recorded by George Schwab in
      > > TRIBES OF THE LIBERIAN HINTERLAND.
      > > Generally speaking, the older ethnographic literature
      (particularly
      > > literature prior to the 1930's) is more explicit (and also quite
      > > generally biased) about the making of fetishes or power objects.
      Many
      > > of these relics are charged with organic material whose recipes
      may
      > > contain human remains- as these remains are deemed to be one of
      the
      > > most powerful medicines known. This is described in the making of
      a
      > > Yaka fetish for example, but there are numerous examples. Even
      today,
      > > the activities of the so called "heart-men" in Liberia which is
      just
      > > one example of many--demonstrate that this concept is very alive
      > > today.
      > > regards,
      > > SB
      > > --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Veronique Martelliere
      > > <proximatribal@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Dear Paolo-W.,
      > > >
      > > > Yes, the Fon are probably the "champions" in sacrifices - in
      > > the 'patinian' results of frequent sacrifices and in the
      adaptation
      > > to "modern" sacrifices as cigarettes, whisky, cans of condensated
      > > milk, etc - I believe Vodun is a very living practice, rather
      > > documented.
      > > >
      > > > The story of the man cutting his hand 3 days before his death is
      > > weird... it doesn't say anyway if he died of an haemorraghe i.e.
      > > because he cut 'precisely' his hand...
      > > > Do you think that this story is believable or do you think that
      > > it is another of these hypnotising stories aiming to plunge you
      into
      > > another dimension ?
      > > >
      > > > Here you'll find an answer to your question about ironwood :
      > > >
      > > > There are more than one hundred species of trees and shrubs in
      > > the world with the common name of "ironwood." As their common name
      > > suggests, the wood of these species is very hard and heavy.
      Depending
      > > on their native country, many of these species have dozens of
      other
      > > descriptive common names. For example, South American ironwoods
      are
      > > often referred to as "quebracho," which translated means "axe-
      > > breaker." Most of the hardest and heaviest ironwood trees grow in
      > > tropical regions.
      > > > ... and if you want to know everything about hardwoods, here is
      > > the link :
      > > >
      > > > http://waynesword.palomar.edu/plsept99.htm
      > > >
      > > > (you will find out in which wood was carved the 1,5 meter girafe
      > > that you bought last year in Kenya ).
      > > >
      > > > Maybe i'm wrong but I believe that carvers do not use any wood
      to
      > > carve objects and that, often, traditions and beliefs demand a
      > > certain type of wood for a certain type of object. If we knew more
      > > about this, that would give the counterfeiters a harder time...
      > > > Anyway, as far as I could read/notice, the type of wood is very
      > > often specified in Indonesian arts - but it is not so often that
      it
      > > is specified in books about African arts.
      > > >
      > > > As to drugs, the best one is pure chocolate. And I mean cocoa.
      > > >
      > > > Have a nice time in Mali.
      > > >
      > > > Bis bald !
      > > > Vero
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > paolo paretti <paolo@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Wolfgang Jaenicke, Jaenicke-Njoya GmbH, Baco Djicoroni ACI,
      Bamako,
      > > > Mali, Rue 627, Porte 109, Tel.: 00223 - 228 48 18, Handy 00223 -
      > > 912 21
      > > > 99
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Dear Vero,
      > > >
      > > > thanks,
      > > > at the moment I am in Bamako nearly without any paper of my
      books.
      > > >
      > > > So I asked some local African Art dealers from Malinke/Bamana
      > > origin.
      > > >
      > > > On the background of my request related to the "Senufo-mask", a
      > > young
      > > > guy responded.
      > > >
      > > > "Everything can be sacrified also this bottle of water! The
      > > sacrifice
      > > > is important not the shape.
      > > > Three days before my grandfather died he cut off one of his
      hands.
      > > This
      > > > is a big sacrifice he gave to his family."
      > > >
      > > > "But what are you doing with the hand of your grandfather?"
      > > >
      > > > "Oh we are doing many things with this hand - Komo has certain
      > > rules,
      > > > how a blacksmith has to carve a mask
      > > > and how it has to be sacrificed..but this is only one side of
      the
      > > coin.
      > > > The important thing is the sacrifice and
      > > > there are many topics we can´t speak about. But they have an old
      > > > tradition."
      > > >
      > > > "But what do you know about Komo- and Senufo-masks? In which way
      > > are
      > > > they related to each other?"
      > > >
      > > > "Some blacksmiths (the carver of these masks) are
      traveling...they
      > > know
      > > > very well the tradition of the region,
      > > > they know other tribes - yafamou - you understand?"
      > > >
      > > > "Hm...No! Can you help me, to find out a little bit more about
      my
      > > > concret request?"
      > > >
      > > > "Maybe...I will ask around!"
      > > >
      > > > ------
      > > >
      > > > What is "iron-wood". Vero?
      > > > Bad copys are made of Mango-wood (bois fromage), a good one and
      the
      > > > originals are from "Jalasu-" or "Karitea-wood".
      > > > Maybe the Europeans are calling it "iron-wood" to name the
      > > difference
      > > > of the quality.
      > > >
      > > > There are more informations about the carving of a mask than
      about
      > > it´s
      > > > sacrifice patina.
      > > > From the Ewe/Fon region I have heard that some sculptures need
      even
      > > > it´s daily cigarettes and diesel/essence-sacrifices.
      > > > Things are changing even in Africa...;-). It would be nice if it
      > > > happens also in the heads of the Western collectors.
      > > >
      > > > Creating counterfeit-money?
      > > > Even it looks like a brownie don´t eat to much from it..there
      could
      > > be
      > > > shit in it.
      > > > Drugs are dangerous, isn´t it?
      > > >
      > > > Paolo
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Am 14.11.2006 um 09:14 schrieb Veronique Martelliere:
      > > >
      > > > > Dear Paolo-W.,
      > > > >
      > > > > Thanks to you, I revised my Senoufo lessons and browsed in
      all I
      > > have
      > > > > on paper about Senoufo.
      > > > > Did not find any Senoufo mask with encrusted patina.
      > > > > Herewith you'll find the photo of a Korubla mask which is the
      > > most
      > > > > similar in features to the one you present (found in L. Segy)
      as
      > > well
      > > > > as a photo of a Kponyogo/"spitfire" (Dapper) which shines as a
      > > > > shoe-shined shoe, though the end of its nose is slightly
      crusted
      > > (with
      > > > > soil, it seems).
      > > > >
      > > > > The attachment-holes of the Korubla that you present are also
      a
      > > bit
      > > > > disturbing - unless this mask is made of iron-wood (which
      would
      > > also
      > > > > be disturbing), they could be a good advertising for Black &
      > > Decker
      > > > > drillers.
      > > > >
      > > > > Crusted patina is puzzling.
      > > > > I wonder if any authentic crusted patina has ever been
      analyzed
      > > by a
      > > > > biologist. I just can guess it can be blood, soil, palm wine,
      oil
      > > from
      > > > > different seeds, smoke, sweat,... and who knows what else.
      > > > > I always find it surprising when an object is covered with a
      > > uniform
      > > > > patina (whatever its type) : when the same patina covers the
      > > whole
      > > > > surface, with the same thickness, reaching every single
      corner of
      > > the
      > > > > object - just as if the sacrifices had been 'finished' with a
      > > brush..
      > > > > Coming from above, the thrown substances should, at certain
      > > points of
      > > > > the carving, stop running down stagnate and make a
      > > thicker "patina".
      > > > >
      > > > > After all, maybe the uniformity of crusted patina is magic.
      > > > > Authentically magic. Or magically authentic.
      > > > > Or maybe should I make a many year experience by throwing
      > > everyday
      > > > > blood, oil and such things on a wooden head and see, day after
      > > > > day, how the head takes it. <35.gif> Is there any butcher,
      among
      > > the
      > > > > members, who would accept to make this experience ?
      > > > >
      > > > > I like your expression : baked patina - or baked mask.
      > > > > And from now on, I will call brownies what will seem to me to
      be
      > > > > "crusted counterfeits". <01.gif>
      > > > >
      > > > > Be well, W.
      > > > > Vero
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
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