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Final Farewell: The Culture of Death and the Afterlife

The Realm of Ancestors: The West African Cult of the Dead

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Pombibele Ritual Pounders (Deble)Pombibele Ritual Pounders (Deble)

The Poro society uses ritual pounders (deble) to strike the ground and invoke ancestral spirits. These are rare types of deble called pombibele, which depict an ideal couple who respect the ancestors and link the concepts of life and death. Employed exclusively for the funeral rites of Poro members, pombibele provide rhythm for dancers and usher the deceased’s souls into the world of the ancestors..

Pombibele Ritual Pounders (Deble)
Senufo people
20th c.
Ivory Coast Wood
(71.141a, b)
Gift of Edward Merrin
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Olden


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