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Baule Diviner's Tapper Ivory Coast African Art

Product #: 127068
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Title Baule Diviner's Tapper Ivory Coast African Art
Type of Object Divination object
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire
People Baule
Materials Wood, cloth and string.
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 11.75 Inches
Width: 3 Inches
Depth: 1.75 Inches
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.

Additional Information:  An interesting piece probably employed by a diviner or priest as a rhythm tapper or a symbol of his status. The hole at the bottom might have been used to hang the piece from the waist or in the hut when not in use.  The decoration of utilitarian objects is an important part of Baule expression, and there are many small masterpieces. Among them are heddle pulleys, cast metal pendants and containers, similar to those of other Akan groups, along with canes, tappers and wooden ointment boxes. The Baule are members of the Akan peoples, who inhabit Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. During the 18th century, the Baule people migrated westward from Ghana as the Asante rose to power. The story of how they managed to break away from them has been preserved in their oral traditions. During the emergence of the Asante, the Baule queen, Aura Poku, was in direct conflict with the Asante king, and when the Asante prevailed, the queen led her people away to the land they now occupy. Baule mythology holds that she had to sacrifice her son to the river god in order to complete the exodus safely. The male descendant of Aura Poku still lives in the original palace she established, and is honored by the Baule as their symbolic king. The Baule are the most powerful group in Cote d'Ivoire, admired as highly skilled politicians, as well as talented artists, who have produced some of the most elegant objects known in West Africa.