Djimini Ceremonial Fertility Mask Ivory Coast


Handsomely carved wooden mask from the Djimini, a sub-group of the Senufo, that reside in the northeastern region of the Ivory Coast. The focus of the entire tribe is on subsistence farming. They grow all their own food and the complete measure of a man is how successful he is as a farmer.

All cultural ceremonies are linked to the earth and to the cycle of life. Though there is a strong Islam and Christian influence to the tribe, their traditional beliefs of animism is still very strong. They believe that everything has a spirit inside it - a good spirit can promote protection and good fortune to the families. Lizards symbolize fertility for the people and for their land. This mask would have been used in ceremonies to promote a fruitful harvest.

For generations the Djimini situate their houses around a baobab tree. A tree is planted at the site of every village and the people depend on the spiritual blessings in this ground to protect them. These trees can live to be thousands of years old.

This fine example of Djimini craftsmanship is 15 inches long, 6.5 inches wide, and 6 inches deep.

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