African art > African Maternity > Statue Baoule
Maternity Baule Blolo bia (N° 19105)
Belgian tribal art collection.
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The "inverted doubles" in the African art sculptures of Les Baule
A glossy brown-black patina magnifies this sculpture of Ivory Coast showing a seated woman nursing her child. Cracks of desiccation located on the base.
About sixty ethnic groups populate the Ivory Coast, including the Baoulé, in the center, Akans from Ghana, people of the savannah, practicing hunting and agriculture as well as the Gouro from whom they borrowed ritual cults and carved masks.
Two types of statues are produced by the Baule, in the ritual context: The Waka-Sona statues, "being of wood" in Baule, evoke a besieged oussou, being of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the komien soothsayers, the latter being selected by the asye usu spirits in order to communicate the revelations of the beyond. The second type of statues are the "spouses" of the beyond, masculine, the blolo bian or feminine, the blolo bia, which are similar to a quest for plenitude by the search for homage to its idealized sexual opposite.
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