|Title||Baule Blolo Bian Spirit Spouse Miniature Seated Female Cote d'Ivoire Africa|
|Type of Object||Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Cote d'Ivoire|
|Materials||Wood, pigment, cloth, glass trade beads on cotton string|
|Approximate Age||Mid 20th Century|
|Dimensions||11 x 4 inches on base.|
|Overall Condition||Good. 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||Dirt, minor chips|
Additional Information: A standing figure identified as a “Blolo Bian” (spirit lover-husband of the other world), coming from the Baule of Ivory Coast. This is a well carved piece made by a talented artist . These ‘spirit world spouses’, are kept in personal shrines where offerings are made to them and where they are close by their real world spouse.
As a “blolo bian”, a husband of the other world, this figure reflects the Baule aesthetic of idealized beauty for the carving of the “male spirit lover” must be as beautiful in sculptural form as he is idealized in the ‘spirit world’. The figure does not need to be a photographic copy of the “spirit lover” but must reflect Baule ideals of beauty of the figure in the prime of his life, physically mature neither too young nor too old but in a perfect and healthy state of being. Attention is focused upon the head with emphasis given to the well-carved details of the face with scarification on the cheeks, at the sides of the mouth, and cheeks. The legs are well carved and stand on its own carved bade; the stance of slightly bent knees is consistent with Baule aesthetic standards showing the body in all of its quiet masculinity and sensual promise. The surface indicates some age and damage at the back of the head is evidence of indigenous use of the figure.
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) S. M. Vogel, Baule, African Art, Western Eyes. 1997