African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Baule Monkey

Baule Monkey (N° 16350)

This cynocephalic monkey with a crossed hands has a stretched bust worn by stocky lower limbs. The figure is frozen in an attitude of supplication. There are several representations of the same type, with different names depending on the use that is made of them. They were mistakenly named Gbékré (mouse) because of Delafosse's misunderstanding of two cults" (Boyer, "Baulé" 5Continents). Often linked to the cult Mbra of divination and possession, they belong to the group of "êtres-force" or amwin , intermediaries between God and men and given to the Baoulé by their Creator, as well as the sacred masks whose wide gaping jaw they share. It would also be a minor deity named barked . Erosions, cracks. Aimed at propitiatory purposes, these sculptures amwin or objects of power, were to constitute the interior of the spirits to which offerings were presented and on which libations were practiced. Real monkey skulls frequently formed the character's head. On this piece sacrificial offerings were administered, crusty residues on the skull of the statue bear witness to this. The sculptures were kept in the villages, but the ritual practices took place in the bush, and sometimes in the center of the dance circle. Some, however, should never be seen by women, as were some masks. Speckled matte patina. Powdery residue sores. Eroded base.
 

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OriginCollection françise Prodhomme
EthnyBaoule
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood
Height cm84
Width23 cm
Weight7.15 Kg
Estimated datingmid xxe

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