African art > Statues > Baoule figure

Large statue Baoulé Aboya / Mbotumbo (N° 15068)

This sculpture of a cynocephalic monkey, exceptional in size, with a cross-section of the hands, has half-flexed intertwined lower limbs. In an attitude of supplication, it also has a belt made of vegetable fibers with a second round cut for offerings. 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 . For propitiatory purposes, these sculptures 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. 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.
The top of the head bears residues of libatory sacrifices, such as nestling down. The patina is matte on a cracked wood, the base of which is fragmented. Lumpy patina chipped. Kaolin residue. Eroded base.
 

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Origincollection Prodhomme
EthnyBaoule
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood, plant fibre
Height153
Width32
Weight25.00 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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