Baule Blolo Bian Figure

c. 1950
$980 USD
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W: 3.0" D: 3.0" H: 11.5"
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The figurative sculptures of the Baule peoples of Cote d'Ivoire are recognizable by their strong, gently curving forms and serene composure. This figure of a man was carved to represent the spirit mate of a young Baule woman. The Baule believe that every individual has a mate who dwells in the "other world," and carved figures such as this are commissioned to stand-in for their spirit mate.

This "other-world man" (blolo bian) evokes traditional Baule aesthetics, with an elongated neck, bulging eyes, bent knees, and small based feet. The down-turned expression and hands gathered at the stomach signal a peaceful disposition. The Baule used sculptural objects to draw themselves closer to their spiritual selves, making this a powerful object in an individual's search for inner calm.

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