This unusually complex and fine brass pendant has been cast showing four pairs of ancestor figures seated on their haunches and arrayed along a bar decorated with spiral motifs and between a tall brass suspension loop at each end. Small loops decorate the underside of the bar. Each figure has been cast in a typically Senufo manner with round, protruding eyes and mouths and with hands resting on the knees.
Such pendants were worn to invoke the protection of the ancestors.
Less complex cast brass pendants made by the Senufo are relatively common. More complicated examples are rarer and were made as prestige objects for chiefs and other high-ranking individuals. Later, they were given to important visitors. Similar pendants were also worn in Bukino Faso.
The example here is very unusual, decorative and wearable.
Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.
Brincard, M. (ed.), The Art of Metal in Africa, The African American Institute, 1982.