Les perchoirs d'âmes sakalava et mahafaly

March 10, 2018

Bernard de Grunne presenting a group of 12 ancient Sakalava sculptures representing ancestors, made in a very soft wood that has that beautiful erosion with time. The Sakalava kingdom was gradually established during the seventeenth century in the south-western part of Madagascar. The introduction of this new power led to new social and religious practices. The representation of death and ancestors became a central focus of funeral practices, while emphasizing the social hierarchy within the kingdom (Kerchache, 2000: 210-212). Responsible for the fertility of the fields and the well-being of the kingdom, the influence of the dead on the world of the living is preponderant and expressed in the funerary posts with representations that symbolize the passage of the dead in the other world (Kouwenhoven 1998, pp. 75-76).