Baule Spirit Spouse

  • Product Code: BAU6-194
  • Dimensions: 4" x 26" x 5"
  • Availability: In Stock
  • USD $


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The Baule are one of the most important tribes of the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire). Their name is testimony to their birth. According to legend, Queen Aba Pokou led her people on an exodus toward the gold-mining areas during the 18th century and had to cross a river where she was obliged to sacrifice her son to the river god, thus giving her people the name Bauli, "the son is dead". Baule artists produced numerous works of art and Baule carvers are still very active today. With their great sense of stylization and attention to detail, they have produced some of the most elegant objects of all African art. Typical Baule statue figures stand on a base with legs slightly bent, with their hands resting on their abdomen in a gesture of peace, their elongated necks supporting a face with typically raised scarification and bulging eyes. The coiffure is always very detailed and is usually divided into plaits, as is apparent here. Statuettes were mostly used for two purposes: to incarnate a spirit of the bush, and the second was to represent a spouse from the other world "Blolo Bla" or "Blolo Bian". The Baule believe that every person has a spirit spouse. It manifests itself through a series of dreams, usually of a sexual nature, and is believed to be responsible for practical and spiritual problems that arise in the life of that individual. Once carved under the direction of the village diviner, the statuette is kept in the person's room and is offered food. Moreover, it is rubbed on the owner's skin, often giving it a shiny patina. (The price quoted is per statue) -Bacquart

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