Photographs © Tim Hamill
20.5" high x 5.5" wide x 6.75" deep
Despite its appearance, this Baule figure shows no evidence of age or use and was probably made to be sold.
The Baule are one of the Akan peoples. They moved west to the Ivory Coast more than 200 years ago and adopted sculptural and masking traditions from their neighbors, the Guro, Senufo and Yaure peoples.
Baule figures can be among the most elegant and designed pieces in Africa. Many show careful execution of face, coiffure and scarification details, with refined forms but no loss of expressiveness and power. The quiet, dignified figures can embody a nature spirit, asie usu, or serve as a spiritual spouse, blolo bian or blolo bla; either must be placated with care. They functioned as the home of a spirit to whom sacrifices were made. Ours range from small, delicate, simple pieces to several larger, more powerful figures.
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