Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

carved door
  • Senufo peoples
  • carved door, late 1800s–1975
  • Where object was made: Côte d’Ivoire or Mali
  • wood, staining, carving
  • Object Height/Width: 81 x 51 cm height includes pegs
    Object Height/Width: 31 7/8 x 20 1/16 in height includes pegs
  • Gift of Loyd Kepferle
  • Not on display
  • 2007.3316
Description

The short rectangular door has a peg on the top and bottom of the facing left side. The front of the door is decorated with three rows of figures separated by rows of grid-like decoration.
The top row depicts two figures, facing each other, each seated in a chair and each holding a fish-like object, bent toward the holder. The facing right side of that row depicts two human figures, facing each other, holding the same round object. The left figure is taller and the right figure is shorter and may have breasts.
The middle row depicts two figures on horseback, facing each other, each with a rifle directed at the other.
The bottom row depicts animals. The center animal is a tortoise. He is flanked by long-beaked birds that appear to be biting his legs. The facing right side has another of the same birds directed toward the outside of the door. Each end has a vertical fish.

This door was important in the Korogo (frog) society, a society for warriors. It depicts the chief (indicated in the upper panel) sending the fish and/or bird indicated in the lower panel to retrieve the souls of those killed in battle.