BAULE HORSEMAN 1, Ivory Coast

 

Photographs © Tim Hamill

BAULE, Horseman 1, 22", $700, Ivory Coast, 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. Leaders and ancestors were often displayed on horseback to support their status as great warriors or leaders.

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 embody spirits from the other world. They functioned as the home of a spirit to whom sacrifices were made and had to be placated with care.

We recommend Baule: African Art Western Eyes by Susan M. Vogel (Yale). We have copies for sale at $40.

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