Baule Figure

Africa | Ivory Coast

Baule Figure

Ivory Coast

Bloblo bian figure

Carved wood and pigments
Early 20th century
Height: 14 ½ in. (37 cm)

Ex collection L. Van de Velde, Antwerp, 1982
Ex collection A. Schlag, Brussels

Baule figure 37 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
According to Susan Vogel (see: A History of Art in Africa / Africa - The Art of a Continent) 'these figures represent an ideal of man or womanhood, embodying not only physical perfection, but social, moral and intellectual achievement. The Baule are one of a number of African groups who believe that before birth, human beings all had Blolo bla (spirit wife) and Blolo bian (spirit husband) spouses in the other world who can influence their lives. Baule artists and their nearby neighbors seem to be the only artists in Africa who traditionally carved figural representations of spirit spouses'
The more elaborate the ornamental and decorative features of an individual work, the more time has been invested in its execution by the sculptor, and the greater the expense to its owner. The culmination of such efforts hopefully results in the creation of a sculpture that is most attractive to the asye usu (spirits). When used by Baule diviners, such works not only flatter the spirits but also add to the theatrical spectacle of a public pronouncement of a divinatory revelation. Their aesthetic quality dazzles potential clients with the caliber and sophistication of the instruments associated with a diviner.
The beauty of a figure advertises its owner's success as an intermediary with the spirit world.

Publication

Explore the entire collection
Africa
Africa | Gabon
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Cameroon
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Northern Liberia
Africa | Ivory Coast
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Mali
Africa | Ivory Coast
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Ivory Coast
Africa | Mali
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Mali
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Cameroon
Africa | Mali
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Mali
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Nigeria
Africa | Guinea
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Cross River, Nigeria
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Cameroon
Africa | Gabon
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Burkina Faso
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | South Africa
Africa | Mali
Africa | Gabon
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Democratic Republic of the Congo
Africa | Burkina Faso
Discover our collections
CoLLECTIoNS
Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter