Baule figure

Africa | Ivory Coast

Baule figure

Ivory Coast

Bloblo Bian male figure

Early 20th century
Carved wood and pigments
Height: 35 cm – 13 ¾ in.

Provenance
Ex private collection, Netherlands
Ex Galerie Frank Van Craen, Antwerp

Published: FAB Paris, 2023
Baule figure 35 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
According to Susan M. Vogel, these figures represent an ideal of man or womanhood, embodying not only physical perfection, but social, moral and intellectual achievement. The beauty of a figure advertised its owner's success as an intermediary with the spirit world.
In the Baule system of beliefs, all human beings have Blolo bla or Blolo bian (spirit spouses) who can influence their lives. Carved portraits of spouses from the other world were meant to honor these spirits, and, in return, to receive their protection.
The figure presented here stands out for its elegance and the refinement of its carving.

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