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Tufts University; Granoff Music Center
20 Talbot Avenue

Although this piece is unusually large, bird figures like these are very common in Senufo culture. They are scattered throughout the Ivory Coast and West Africa, usually ranging from small, two-foot sculptures to towering six-foot pillars. Our Porpianong is seven feet tall.

In Senufo mythology, this bird, the Hornbill, was one of the first five animals to inhabit the world. She was the mother figure of humanity. If you look closely though, you can see references to the other four first animals -- the chameleon, tortoise, serpent, and crocodile.