Heddle Pulley with Hornbill MotifArtist(s)SenufoArtist NationalitySenufo (culture or style)Object Creation Date1900-1971Medium & Supportcarved wood and patinationDimensions
6 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in x 2 in (17.1 cm x 6.4 cm x 5 cm)Credit LineMuseum Purchase assisted by the Friends of the Museum of ArtLabel copy
Carved with great sensitivity to surface beauty, this heddle pulley attests to the Senufo genius for impeccably designed and executed sculptural forms. Even small, ordinary objects are carefully crafted. This heddle pulley is in the form of a hornbill, one of the five primordial creatures. The other four are the chameleon, tortoise, serpent, and crocodile. Known by the Senufo as the diety Setien, the hornbill was, according to legend, the first animal killed by the Senufo for food. Its spring migrations heralded the commencement of the planting season. The heddle pulley is a functional object used in the weaving of cloth. The pulley through which the weaving string was passed has been lost on this example; only the holder remains.Primary Object Classification Sculpture Primary Object TypecarvingCollection AreaAfricanRights
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