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Art History of the Poro among the Senufo People of Ivory Coast - Essay Example

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The paper will begin with the statement that the Senufo people originate from Ivory Coast. This tribe has segregation of men called the Poro. The group, mainly consisting of young men, belongs to different job specialization units such as farmers, smiths and ornament makers…
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Art History of the Poro among the Senufo People of Ivory Coast
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Download file to see previous pages The Poro live and work together. At times, they can join the rest of society during rituals and masquerades. They move from one grove section in the village to another and camp at groves, which become recognized as initiation posts. The forest can also be considered a grove.
The Senufo people have a secret society of men called the Poro with the members called Colobele and one member called a Colo. This society has different age grades which have differing responsibilities. According to Forster, the minor age group consists of men aged 20 years (Forster, 1993). A more senior Poro tests the younger age grade by asking them “passwords” using the secret language of the society. The age group above the junior Poro also teaches the junior Poro the work they should do. In the farmer’s category, the junior Poro carry out tasks in the field where they are not allowed to speak to other members in the village. When comparing the two, Glaze (1986) mainly focuses on the ceremonial activities. She explains activities such as the initiation ceremony. As per her explanation, the junior Poro use their masks to story tell. This activity by Poro happens to be the only similarity in the activities between Glaze’s and Forster’s explanation.
The Poro practice different activities in their daily routine. Some of these practices have a spiritual inclination, whereas others have a practical inclination. The activities described by Glaze have spiritual inclination (Glaze, 1986). These revolve around rituals such as initiation, funerals, and use of masquerades. Those described by Forster seek practical solutions such as food, making equipment and ornaments. Forster also goes on to describe spiritual activities such as dancing in the masks (Forster, 1993). The spiritual activities have ceremonies such as initiation whereby procedures with a symbolic meaning occur. For the practical procedures, goals such as obtaining food, making equipment and ornaments happen to be the main objective. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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