Zana Coulibaly, *1940 +2019

Coulibaly Senufo Senufo art, Kanoroba
Zana Coulibaly, April 2015. Image by Souleymane Arachi

Zana (Zanafagua) Coulibaly lived in Natal, next to Djemtene, but he carved in Kanoroba. He learned from his father, who also was a Koulé. As a Senufo carver he made a huge number of all kind of carvings, such as statues and masks for ritus, as well as tools, spoons, heddle pulleys, sticks, stools and beds. He offered a wide range of objects used in daily life.


The Tugubele on top of the Jumbol does show his interpretation of this female spirit with all the elegance Senufo carving is valued for.


His two female Tugubele statues show a style, which is known from statues, that were carved before 1900 in Mali. It could not be clarified, if Zana´s ancestors moved from Mali to Ivory Coast. His carving is very eloberated.


It was very difficult to do an interview with him. Questions about his sculpture and style were poorly answered. Asking him, if he distinguished a young from a matured women in sculpture, or why he carves the hips in half circles and the meaning of the round shaped ears, did got answered "the spirits let me do that". Also he could not date the time of creation of his objects.


Zanafagua Coulibaly died in the age of 79 in October 2019 in Natal.



Jumbol, ceremonial stick, with a female Tugubele, carved by Koulé Zana Coulibaly, Kanoroba., before 2000.

53,5 x 7,0 x 5,5 cm, wood.




not published yet

Tugubele Senufo statues Senoufo
Tugubele statues by Zana Coulibaly, Kanoroba

Left:  Female Tugubele, carved by Koulé Zana Coulibaly, Kanoroba.

36,5 x 10,0 x 8,5 cm, wood.



Wenn Neuordnung Ordnung schafft, Markus Ehrhard page 154 - 157.

Right:  Female Tugubele, carved by Koulé Zana Coulibaly, Kanoroba.

35,0 x 9,5 x 7,5 cm, wood.



Wenn Urform Form bestimmt, Markus Ehrhard page 112 - 113.