African art > Statues > Statue Baoulé
Maternity figure Asye usu Baule (N° 15022)
For baoules, seeing a woman's genitals can be fatal for a man. The depiction of a female figure, naked, not veiled with a cloth loincloth, poses a threat. She is probably the embodiment of a female goddess. Represented sitting, breastfeeding an infant, the figure shows the traditional keloid scars and a hairstyle whose chiseled braids on the wood form a large shell. Dark brown speckled patina, flaky.
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Two types of statues are produced by the baoulé in the ritual framework: The Statues Waka-Sona, " be of wood " in baoulé, evoke a asssousou, be of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the soothsayers komien, 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 soothsayer's instructions, are the spouses of the afterlife, male, Blolo bian or feminine, the bia blolo. Some 60 ethnic groups populate Côte d'Ivoire, including the Baoulé in the centre, Akans from Ghana, a people of the savannah, hunting and farming, as well as the Gouro from whom they borrowed the cults and masks. 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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