African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Baoule statue

Baoule statue (N° 20505)

Standing confidently on a circular base, hands placed around the umbilicus, the male figure offers integumentary ornamentation indicating the Baule concept of beauty, a constant in traditional African art.
Smooth two-tone patina
Cracks of desiccation.
About sixty ethnic groups populate the Ivory Coast, including the Baule, in the center, Akans from Ghana, people of the savannah, practicing hunting and agriculture just like the Gouro from whom they borrowed ritual cults and sculpted masks. Two types of statues are produced by the Baoulé, Baulé, within the ritual framework: The Waka-Sona statues, "being of wood" in Baoulé, evoke an assié oussou, being of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the komien diviners, the latter being selected by the asye usu spirits in order to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of statues are the "spouses" of the afterlife, male, the Blolo bian or female, the blolo bia, which are akin to a quest for wholeness through homage to an idealized sexual opposite.  

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OriginRécoltée in-situ 1994
EthnyBaoule
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood
Height cm56
Width12 cm
Weight1.95 Kg

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