|Title||Baule Fetish Female on Pedestal Ivory Coast African Art|
|Type of Object||Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Cote d'Ivoire|
|Materials||Wood, pigment, cotton fabric, vegetal fibers, rope|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 19.25 Inches
Width: 3.5 Inches
|Damage/Repair||thick, cracking encrustation. torn fabric, worn wood surface. dirt and stains|
The form of the carving is familiar in African art, with a tall pedestal adorned with sacrificial materials. The style is more often attributed to the Fon, but the facial details are consistent with Baule statuary.
As for most of the figures from the Baule people, in this particular figure attention is focused upon the head with emphasis given to detailed face, scarification, and elaborate coiffure. The details of the coiffure, the markings on the face, torso and the back, the beard, the firmed body as well as the seated posture show the figure to be a mature and important man among the Baule.
The fact that the figure holds an egg determines that the figure was used in divination. The egg is an important component in the Baule divination process. Diviners among the Baule, after having completed a long and complex process of becoming a fully qualified komien, would have figures carved for them to be used during divinations to serve as contact points with the spirits of the bush.
P. L. Ravenhill: Baule Statuary Art: Meaning and Modernization, Institute for the Study of Human Issues, Working Paper 5 (Philadelphia, 1980)
S. M. Vogel: Beauty in the Eyes of the Baule: Aesthetics and Cultural Values, Institute for the Study of Human Issues, Working Paper 6 (Philadelphia,1980)
E. Fischer and H. Himmelheber: Das Gold in der Kunst Westafrikas 1981