African art > Jar > Baoulé box

Gbékré sé Baule oracle box (N° 14961)

Aimed at a practice still in use today in the Baoulé region of the south-west, the sculpture consists of a mediating tutelary figure, visibly in meditation, depicted in a sitting position against a circular receptacle. A vegetable fiber cord, forming a transport handle, encloses the lid. The object is engraved with parallel lines and checkerboards, the receptacle has in its lower part a circular frieze open. Heads representing mouse heads appear on the walls. A mouse, considered a messenger of the earth's deities, lived in the lower compartment of the object (mouse now absent...) and the successive arrangement of the elements it moved was read as an answer to the question posed to the soothsayer. The metal plate, under the box, was fitted and punctured so that the mice were in contact with the spirits of the earth, sat.
Grain patina mate with kaolin residue

During the 18th century, united under a single banner, this Akan people was, according to legend, guided by Queen Aba Pokou to the gold mining region in eastern Côte d'Ivoire to settle there. The unity of the Baoulé perished as a result of infighting and the gold rush since the arrival of the Europeans, culminating in a multitude of small, detached villages, led by councils of elders.
Ref.: Mathilde Buratti , \  

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Originex-collection française
EthnyBaoule
CountryCote d'Ivoire
Material(s)wood, fibres de raphia, metal
Height30
Width20
Weight2.08 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°

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