Songuifolo Silué, *1914 +1986

Songuifolo Silué, Fono from Sirasso Senufo art Kpelie mask Nyingife statue Senoufo
Overview of Kpelié masks and Nyingife statues by Songuifolo Silué, Sirasso

Songuifolo Silué developed around 1930, beside the traditional style, a very pure and minimalistic look in masks and statues. Influenced by his friend Fossoungo Dagnogo, who was 20 years older than Songuifolo, this kind of modern interpretation of traditional elements were created. Both carvers were Fono, smithers who worked scluptures in wood. A distinctive feature of both carvers is the triangulary shaped facette in the back of the masks (read more in the blog article: Signs of a Kpelié mask carved by a Fono).

Songuifolo was a Kafibele, a sub-group of Dioulas (Senufos with Islamic background). Masks he carved for the do-society are larger than the traditional Kpelié masks he made for other Senufo groups.

In literatur Songuifolo Silué is qualified as a master. In Second World War he was a French soldier and got arrested in German war imprisonment. His work was not influenced by these experiences. Songuifolo worked for almost 60 years before he went blind in the early 1980ies. Though he was a famous carver, he had many orders. It might be one reason, that he developed a less elaborated style, so he and his helpers and pupils could produce more in less time. In projection he carved more than 1000 sculptures, like masks, statues, pulleys and other objects for tribal use and for the so-called Airport-art. Silué was one of the most productive carvers of the Senufo. Still today, you find his objects in the carving centres like in Korhogo.

Because of his two styles, he is a very interesting personality with an amazing perception of shape. Comparing his small Nyingife, for example, he works in same proportion thought they all have different sizes (Learn more about this in our blog). This is comparable with the Absolute Hearing of a musician.

Another sign of his outstanding skills, is the early Kpelié mask he carved between 1935 and 1939. He had not found his right proportion yet in that mask, but he covered the knotwhole of the wood precisely behind a decoration element that is not been shown.

"You present our work like flowers, you place on a table" answered Songuifolo Silué, questioned by Karl-Heinz Krieg about his opinion, how we deal and integrate the African Sculpture in our life.

Nyingife by master Songuifolo Silué Senufo art Senoufo
Nyingife carved by Songuifolo Silué, Sirasso

Male Nyingife, carved by Songuifolo Silué, Fono from Sirasso. *1914 +1986. Time of creation after 1950.

12,0 x 4,0 x 4,0 cm, wood, red paint. Collected by Souleymane Arachi 2014 in Boundiali.

 

Literature:

- Wenn Neuordnung Ordnung schafft, Markus Ehrhard, pages 21, 132 - 133.

- Kunst und Religion bei den Gbato-Senufo, Elfenbeinküste, Karl-Heinz Krieg und Wulf Lohse, page 46 - 49.

- Aus Afrika, Ahnen - Geister - Götter, Jürgen Zwernemann und Wulf Lohse, Seite 21 - 22.

- Afrika Begegnung, aus der Sammlung Artur und Heidrun Elmer, page 42.

Nyingife by Songuifolo Silué Senufo master Senoufo art
Nyingife carved by Songuifolo Silué, Sirasso

Male Nyingife, carved by Songuifolo Silué, Fono from Sirasso. *1914 +1986. Time of creation after 1950.

15,0 x 4,5 x 4,0 cm, wood, black paint.

 

 

 

Literature:

- Wenn Neuordnung Ordnung schafft, Markus Ehrhard, pages 21, 130 - 131.

- Kunst und Religion bei den Gbato-Senufo, Elfenbeinküste, Karl-Heinz Krieg und Wulf Lohse, page 46 - 49.

- Aus Afrika, Ahnen - Geister - Götter, Jürgen Zwernemann und Wulf Lohse, Seite 21 - 22.

- Afrika Begegnung, aus der Sammlung Artur und Heidrun Elmer, page 42.

 

Nyingife spirit by Songuifolo Silué Senufo master Senoufo art
Nyingife carved by Songuifolo Silué, Sirasso

Female Nyingife, carved by Songuifolo Silué, Fono from Sirasso. *1914 +1986. Time of creation after 1950.

12,0 x 4,0 x 4,0 cm, wood, black dye. Collected by Jaques Fabre 1971 in Korhogo.

 

Literature:

- Wenn Brauch Gebrauch beeinflusst, Markus Ehrhard, pages 21, 102 - 103.

- Wenn Neuordnung Ordnung schafft, Markus Ehrhard, page 21.

- Kunst & Kontext, Ausgabe 07, 2014, page 39.

- Kunst und Religion bei den Gbato-Senufo, Elfenbeinküste, Karl-Heinz Krieg und Wulf Lohse, page 46 - 49.

- Aus Afrika, Ahnen - Geister - Götter, Jürgen Zwernemann und Wulf Lohse, Seite 21 - 22.

- Afrika Begegnung, aus der Sammlung Artur und Heidrun Elmer, page 42.



Kpelié by Songuifolo Silué, Sirasso
Early Kpelié mask by Songuifolo Silué, Senufo master

Kpelié mask, carved by Songuifolo Silué, Fono from Sirasso. *1914 +1986. Time of creation between 1935 - 1939.

40,0 x 16,0 x 10,0 cm, wood. Former Karl-Heinz Krieg collection.

 

Literature:

- Wenn Brauch Gebrauch beeinflusst, Markus Ehrhard, pages 96 - 101.

- Kunst & Kontext, Ausgabe 07, 2014, page 39.

- Kunst und Religion bei den Gbato-Senufo, Elfenbeinküste, Karl-Heinz Krieg und Wulf Lohse, page 46 - 49.

- Aus Afrika, Ahnen - Geister - Götter, Jürgen Zwernemann und Wulf Lohse, Seite 65 - 66.

- Afrika Begegnung, aus der Sammlung Artur und Heidrun Elmer, page 67.

 



Kpelié mask, carved by Songuifolo Silué, Fono from Sirasso. *1914 +1986. Time of creation between before 1980.

35,5 x 16,5 x 8,0 cm, wood. Collected 1980 by Frank Friedmann, New York. Since 1995 in the Collection Karim Deen, New York, until 2014.

 

Literature:

- Wenn Neuordnung Ordnung schafft, Markus Ehrhard, pages 126 - 129.

- Kunst und Religion bei den Gbato-Senufo, Elfenbeinküste, Karl-Heinz Krieg und Wulf Lohse, page 46 - 49.

- Aus Afrika, Ahnen - Geister - Götter, Jürgen Zwernemann und Wulf Lohse, Seite 65 - 66.

- Afrika Begegnung, aus der Sammlung Artur und Heidrun Elmer, page 67.

Masterpiece Kpelié mask by Songuifolo Silué Senufo Senoufo art
Kpelié mask carved by Songuifolo Silué, Sirasso


Masterpiece Kpelié by Senufo master Songuifolo Silué Senoufo art
Pure Kpelié mask by Soguifolo Silué, Senufo from Sirasso

Kpelié mask, carved by Songuifolo Silué, Fono from Sirasso. *1914 +1986. Time of creation around 1960.

31,5 x 19,5 x 8,0 cm, wood, partly restored. Collected by Karl-Heinz Krieg in the 1960ies.

 

Literature:

- Wenn Neuordnung Ordnung schafft, Markus Ehrhard, pages 122 - 125.

- Kunst und Religion bei den Gbato-Senufo, Elfenbeinküste, Karl-Heinz Krieg und Wulf Lohse, page 46 - 49.

- Aus Afrika, Ahnen - Geister - Götter, Jürgen Zwernemann und Wulf Lohse, Seite 65 - 66.

- Hamburgisches Museum für Völkerkunde, page 14.

- Afrika Begegnung, aus der Sammlung Artur und Heidrun Elmer, page 67.