Senufo Mother and Child
In Senufo society, the females are regarded with great importance; it is in the couple figures that the influence and significance of the female is most obviously seen. The fundamental theory of the Senufo religion is a female ancestral spirit. However, these is also recognized in the female figures such as the Ancient Mother. This female figure, like this one shown here on the front cover of this paper, is almost never seen without a child on her lap. She is carved out of wood and around two to four feet in height. She is of a young fertile age, with large breasts to emphasize her ability to nurture a child. The Ancient Mother symbolizes many aspects of the Senufo beliefs, such as; the female characteristic of creation, the founder and guardian of the matrilineage, she is considered the leader of the Poro, along with being the "spiritual Mother" of the males in the tribe that pass through the Poro society, and "metaphorically the mother of the community itself." (MS-H)
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