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Baule Spirit Spouse Ivory Coast African Art

Product #: 106744
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Title Baule Spirit Spouse Ivory Coast African Art
Type of Object Female figure
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire, Ivory Coast
People Baule
Materials Wood, pigment, glass beads, canvas loin cloth
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 19 Inches
Width: 3.5 Inches
Depth: 4.25 Inches
Overall Condition Fair,. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair scrapes and chips; original hairstyle in back is broken away. white residue as seen

Additional Information:  A  magnificent standing figure with a long and decorated beard.  Facial details are consistent with the Baule style: narrow nose, oval eyes and pursed lips.  The beard and hairstyle are truly magnificent.  He has interlocked fingers, a scarified body, and exagerated calves.  A gorgeous patina showing  evidence of  wear and handling. This piece will stand well in any collection. 

Other world spouses, such as this, are kept in personal shrines where offerings are made to them and where they are close by their real world spouse. 

Baule people believe that people care born into the world already married. This spirit spouse has great influence, for good and evil, over life on earth. After earthly marriage, one night of the week is kept for sleeping with the spirit spouse, and earthly spouses may not sleep together. Carvings like this are kept very private, and are rarely seen. Baule figurative statuary is some of the best known and most collected. Finely carved male and female figures  are generally portrayed in a standing position of formal calmness with arms close to the body and hands resting on the abdomen. Attention is focused upon the head with emphasis given to detailed face and neck scarification and elaborate coiffures.These figures reflect Baule ideals of beauty and aesthetics as the female (blolo bla) and male (blolo bian) figures exhibit youthful, well formed bodies and with much attention to details of hair and scarification as well as being dressed in what is considered fashionable and in recent times in European style clothing. The  figures are burnished to a dark glossy patina from much handling when being treated with the respect due an other world spouse .