A7K9S314R.jpg (21328 bytes)A7K9S314S.jpg (16783 bytes)A7K9S314.jpg (20786 bytes)Akye (Atye, Attye, Ankye), Côte d’Ivoire

Alangua - ceremonial female figure. The eastern coast of the Côte d'Ivoire comprises the area of lagoons, where the population is divided into twelve different language groups with Akye being one of them. Usually chiefs do not govern these people, although a man's social position is determined by his age. Widespread in Lagoon societies is the belief that when people are born into the world they leave behind a spirit counterpart, or “lover”, in the other world.  This counterpart may become jealous and cause his or her earthly part impotence, infertility or other misfortune. As part of the cult individuals lavish attention on beautiful images of their spirit counterparts. The statues of this type were used in many different ways. The figure could have been owned by a diviner, for use in conveying messages to the spirit world, or it may have been prescribed by the diviner to the client. Alternatively, it could have been intended to represent (and house) a man’s “spirit lover” from the other world or it may have been displayed at certain traditional dances. In either case it would have been consecrated to serve as a dwelling place for a spirit.

Material:  wood

Size: 30½”x7”x5½”