The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Komo among Tagwa-Senufo Peoples in Southwest Burkina Faso

by Boureima T. Diamitani
West African Museums Programme

MaliBamana artist (Koulikoro region)

Warakun or Kòmòkun (Kòmò Association Helmet Crest Mask)

Wood; animal fur;  porcupine quills; duiker, oribi, and roan antelope horns; feathers; mirror; sacrificial patina

44.4 x 76.2 x 35.4 cm (17 1/2 x 30 x 10")

New Orleans Museum of Art: Gift of Kent and Charles Davis, 92.804

The Senufo

Numbering over 2,500,000, Senufo people inhabit a large area of West Africa currently divided among three countries: Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. From the north, Senufo region begins close to the city of San in Mali, to the south, to the city of Dabakala in Côte d'Ivoire. To the west, the Senufo are bordered by the Bagouè and the Bafing Rivers, and the eastern border is formed by the source of the Mouhoun River just west of Bobo Dioulasso and runs parallel with the Leraba River and the province of Comoé (Bohumil Holas 1957). In southern Mali, Senufo peoples reside in the region of San, Koutiala and Sikasso.  In northern Côte d'Ivoire, they are located in Katiola, Dabakala, Ferkessedougou, Korhogo, and Boundiali.  In southwest Burkina Faso, they occupy Kénédugu (Orodara), Leraba (Sindou), and Comoé (Banfora).  Their neighbours to the south are the Baule and the Guro; to the southwest the Dan and the Gueré; to the northeast the Bobo; and to the north, the Bamana.