An interesting fact I found on the Senufo community when researching for my VIC224 essay is: "Many people in rural West African Senufo-speaking communities continue to pursue agricultural work. They cultivate a wide variety of crops, including cotton and cash crops for the international market. They also actively support the arts, including a wealth of masquerade art and figurative sculpture. Other Senufo speakers serve as active promoters of Senufo arts and culture in conjunction with their careers as politicians, civil servants, religious clergy, and academics in their home countries and abroad."
link to information: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/smpa/hd_smpa.htm
What interests me about the Senufo community is the role that the masquerade art plays not only in their society in the past but also in the present day. It would be interesting to analyze the evolution of the art and how its purpose has changed over time. What is also interesting is to see how the Senufo diasporas have influenced other cultures masquerade arts and to see the remnants of their influence on not only their own society but also other societies.
Through researching more about the Senufo people of West Africa and their culture, I can now understand why a garment like this masquerade costume would hold such value at a textile museum. "No one produces a wider variety of masks than the people of the Ivory Coast. Masks are used to represent the souls of deceased people, lesser deities, or even caricatures of animals. The ownership of masks is restricted to certain powerful individuals or to families. Only specifically designated, specially trained individuals are permitted to wear the masks. "…"It is dangerous for others to wear ceremonial masks because each mask has a soul, or life force, and when a person's face comes in contact with the inside of the mask that person is transformed into the entity the mask represents." Link to website with quoted information: http://www.africaguide.com/country/ivoryc/culture.htm
*Note* Any information I have provided in this comment I do not take credit for. I have provided the links just below any quoted information I have shared, so the respected cites can be credited.