A Pair of Male and Female Rhythm Pounders (Tombibele)19th century - 20th century
53 1/8 in. x 47 1/2 in. (134.9 cm x 120.65 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
The gendered figures represent the primordial couple: Katyleo is the ancestral mother figure, who has protective and magical powers as life-giver and nurturer, and Maleo is the male counterpart. With their relaxed stance, both muscular figures convey a sense of balance, symmetry, and serenity. The verticality of the sculpted pieces suggests their connection to both the earthly and spiritual realms.
This object has the following keywords:
- African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
- déblés - Sculpted figures of the Senufo people of Africa. They are mostly of women, though men, couples, and equestrian figures are also known, and all have thick, heavy bases. Using them in various ceremonial contexts such as funerary rites and Iô society initiations, participants grasp the figures by their arms and rhythmically pound the ground with them.
- female - Referring to the sex that normally produces eggs or female germ cells.
- male - Referring to the sex that in reproduction normally produces sperm cells or male gametes.
- Malian - Style and culture of Mali in West Africa, either the ancient empire of the 13th and 14th centuries or of the modern republic founded in 1960.
- Senufo - Refers to the styles and culture of a group of closely related peoples of northern Ctte d'Ivoire and southeastern Mali.
- West African - Styles and cultures from the region comprising the westernmost area of the African continent, defined by the United Nations as including the modern nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
- Worlds to Discover: 125 Years of Collections at Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr College , Sep 24, 2010 – May 28, 2011
Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
Ownership End Date: 12/20/1996
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
Important Tribal Art
New York, NY, 1989
Figure Number: 37
and Emily Croll.
Worlds to Discover.
Bryn Mawr College.
Bryn Mawr, PA, 2010
Page Number: 31
- "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0072284.
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
- "The Brooklyn Museum Online Collection." The Brooklyn Museum Online Collections Database. (Accessed April 9, 2020): Brooklyn Museum, https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/collections. Accession No.: 74.214.
- Tom Phillips, ed. Africa: The Art of a Continent (Munich; London; New York: Prestel Verlag and Royal Academy of Arts, 1999), 459. Figure Number: 5.126
- Jean- Baptiste Bacquart, The Tribal Arts of Africa (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 1998), 74. Figure Number: A
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
- Till Förster, "Smoothing the Way of the Dead: A Senufo Rhythm Pounder." Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2005): 54-67.
- "The Brooklyn Museum Online Collection." The Brooklyn Museum Online Collections Database. (Accessed April 9, 2020): Brooklyn Museum, https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/collections. Accession No: 74.214.
- Tom Phillips, ed. Africa: The Art of a Continent (Munich; London; New York: Prestel Verlag and Royal Academy of Arts, 1999), 459.
- Jean- Baptiste Bacquart, The Tribal Arts of Africa (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 1998), 72-74.
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