Old Senufo Divination Ring – Chameleon – Côte d’Ivoire
Bronze. Cm. 4,4 high (1.73″). Inner diameter cm. 2,2 (0.87″). Gr. 27,8 (0.98 oz.).
Due to its physically mutating nature and adaptability, the Chameleon is a symbol of wisdom.
This type of ring is not intended to be worn daily but rather is brought to the diviner by the person consulting him. Daily life for the Senufo people revolves around the religious rituals that enable them to placate the deities they respect and fear through means of divination practices and the wearing of specially crafted bronze jewelry. The Sandogo (or Sando) is an authoritative women’s social order responsible for sustaining positive relationships with the spiritual world through divination and for protecting the purity of each kinship group. The Sandobele are diviners within the Sandogo society who diagnose and resolve issues within the community. These rings are created using the old tradition of the “lost wax” process, each piece is original and unique as the mold is destroyed after each casting.
The Senufo are an ethnolinguistic group composed of diverse subgroups of Gur-speaking people living in an area spanning from southern Mali and the extreme western corner of Burkina Faso to Katiola in Côte d’Ivoire.
For similar examples and more informations see “A World of Rings”, by Anne Van Cutsem, pages 72 and 73.
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