The customs and beliefs of Sierra Leone's Poro people inspire this impressive sculpture by Ibrahim Mohammed. It is known as senufo (hornbill) and they believe it is one of the first living creatures on Earth, along with the tortoise, crocodile, chameleon and serpent. The long phallic beak touching its swollen belly suggests pregnancy and represents the dual forces of the male and female components. This symbolizes the need for both to ensure the continuity of the whole community. The original piece is worn as a headdress by men or carried in a procession. Between uses it is kept the the Poro's secret tree grove. Mohammed carves this impressive piece from nyame dua wood and decorates it with raffia tassels and iron hoops. He finishes it with clay, sand and powder to achieve an antique, rugged finish.
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