statues are a one of a kind pair, hand carved by the artists of West Africa.
These are Baule sculptures from Ivory Coast characterized by the bent knees, their placement on round bases and the peaceful gesture of both their closed eyes and the manner in which their hands are placed on their knees. The Baule believed that all human beings have a spiritual connection and that every human was distinctly individual. Therefore, they believed in existence in the spirit world prior to earthly existence and each person was thought to have taken a spouse in this earlier existence.
These sculptures were therefore carved to represent the spirits of these spiritual spouses. Each adult member of the Baule society had one of these which he carried around. In an earthly marriage, when one or both of the spiritual spouses of an earthly couple was deemed angry such figures were commissioned for one or both of the spiritual spouses to make peace. A man’s spiritual spouse (the female sculpture) is blolo bian and a woman’s spiritual spouse (the male sculpture) is blolo bla.
In addition, the ancient Baule society was matrilineal; therefore, the female carving was made taller than the male carving.
Baule art used fine polished wood to depict their figures. The extensive hairstyle and the scarification of the carvings were to represent the beauty of these spiritual beings. The coiffures, Baule Tre, are always tripartite arrangements and often have two branches of tightly woven hair. To distinguish the male from the female, a goatee stump was added to the male figure. Even though elaborate hairdressings were peculiar to women, the Baule considered the hair a distinguishing feature of beauty and so represented it on this male figure too to show his beauty while the goatee signify his manliness.
These sculptures represent the marital bond between the earthly and spiritual members of a couple sets and also symbolize fecundity and fertility in the living couple.
|African Female Statue |
Height: 27 inches
Width: 7 inches
Depth: 9 inches
Weight: 9 pounds
Origin: Baule Tribe - West Africa
|African Male Statue |
Height: 25 inches
Width: 7 inches
Depth: 7 inches
Weight: 6.5 pounds
Origin: Baule Tribe - West Africa
Care: Mainly for indoor use. Dust as needed.
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