African art > Maternity, statues, bronze, wood > Baule statue
Maternity figure Asye usu Baule (N° 17728)
Ex-collection of French African tribal art.
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For the Baoule, seeing a woman's genitals can be fatal for a man. The depiction of a female figure, naked, unclothed by a loincloth of cloth, forms a threat. She is probably the embodiment of a female goddess. Represented seated, featuring a child, the woman wears traditional keloid scars, glass beaded necklaces and a hairstyle whose chiseled braids on the wood form large shells. Brilliant dark brown patina. Lack of base.
Two types of statues are produced by the Baoulé in the ritual framework: The Waka-Sona statues, be wooden in baoulé, evoke a silish oussou, being from the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the soothsayers komian, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate the revelations of the afterlife. The second type of statues, made according to the indications of the soothsayer, are the spouses of the afterlife, male, Blolo bian or feminine, the blolo bia . About 60 ethnic groups populate Côte d'Ivoire, including the Baoulé in the centre, Akans from Ghana, the savannah people, hunting and farming, as well as the Gouro, whose cults and masks they borrowed. The basic unit is lineage, under the responsibility of an elder, whose functions are political and religious.
Ref.: Baule Susan M. Vogel
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