African art > African Statues > Statue Baule
Statue Baoule Aboya Mbotumbo (N° 17708)
Sculpture depicting a cynocephalic monkey whose hands together have a cup. 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 cults Mbra of divination and possession, they belong to the group of 'force-beings' or amwin , intermediaries between God and men and given to the Baoulé by their Creator, as well as the sacred masks from which they share the wide gaping jaw. It would also be a minor deity named bark . For propitiatory purposes, these sculptures were to form the interior of the spirits to whom offerings were presented and on which libations were practiced. Real monkey skulls frequently formed the head of the character. The sculptures were kept in the villages, but ritual practices took place in the bush, and sometimes in the center of the dance circle. However, some were never to be seen by women, as were some masks.
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A textile loincloth is wrapped around the perosnnage basin. The black patina forms a oily, grainy film, locally encrusted with residual kaolin. Desication cracks.
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