This Sejen (bird figure) was designed and constructed by the Senufo People of the Republic of Ivory Coast. “Senufo bird figures refer to both the physical and intellectual aspects of life, which together assure the continuation of the community. The long, phallic beak touching the swollen belly suggestive of pregnancy alludes to the dual forces of male and female procreation. The yellow hornbill, one of the species found in the Senufo area, is considered the master among birds and a symbol of intellectual power. Its yellow head is equated with red caps worn by Senufo elders, who, like the bird, embody wisdom and authority” (Metropolitan Museum of Art Catalog 2021).
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2021. “Bird (Sejen): Senufo People.” New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art Catalog.