Komo among Tagwa-Senufo Peoples in Southwest Burkina Faso

by Boureima T. Diamitani
West African Museums Programme

Côte d’Ivoire; Senufo peoples

Kpeli-yëhë or Kodöli-yëhë (face mask)

Wood

H. 34.9 cm (14")

The University of Iowa Museum of Art, The Stanley Collection, X1986.579

The Senufo fall into three broad linguistic and cultural divisions: northern, central, and southern.  The various subgroups are closely related in language and custom.  French colonial boundaries placed the central and southern Senufo in Côte d'Ivoire, while the northern Senufo were assigned to Mali and Burkina Faso.  The Tagwa people belong to the northern Senufo and live in southwest Burkina Faso. With a population of nearly 100,000, they occupy the Tagwara plateau, which lies about 132 km northwest of Bobo Dioulasso. Tagwa autonomy from other Senufo groups stems from their sharing a geographic area, a common language, Sicire, and traditional practices and beliefs, including worship of similar gods.

Côte d’Ivoire; Senufo peoples

Kpeli-yëhë or Kodöli-yëhë (face mask)

Wood

H. 27.9 cm (11")

The University of Iowa Museum of Art, The Stanley Collection, X1986.586