U9B4O093.jpg (49496 bytes)Baule (Baoule, Bawule), Côte d’Ivoire

Door for an inner room.  Around 1 million Baule occupy a part of the eastern Cote d’Ivoire that is both forest and savanna land. The Baule is one of the rare tribes where sculpture is produced for aesthetic appreciation as well as for ritualistic purposes. Now carved doors had largely disappeared from Baule villages. Some of them were completely visible on the outside of the house; others like this one were for interior rooms, and were seldom seen by anyone outside the family. The figures possibly represent bush spirits. On either side of them, a trance diviner gong and mallet have been carved, joined by a cord. Two round dishes on either side of the figures are to feed these bush spirits. Below the feet of the spirits is a leopard, and two sheathed knives, symbols of might and royalty.

Material:  wood

Size:   H. 47”, W. 22”

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