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Baule Maternity Figure Two Children African Art

Product #: 122747
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Title Baule Maternity Figure Two Children African Art
Type of Object Statue, carving
Country of Origin Cote d'Ivoire
People Baule
Materials Wood, pigment, cotton cloth
Approximate Age Second half 20 th century
Dimensions Height: 15.75 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.
Damage/Repair Crack in back, old arrested bug damage

Additional Information: 

Classically carved figures such as this mother and child among the Baule are known generally as waka sran, meaning a 'person of wood'. Some maternity sculptures were owned by diviners known as Komien, who could tell the future, cure illnesses as well as solving local community problems. The figure embodies a number of symbolic elements as shrine figure; she is a ’mother’ and for the diviner she is a place of residence for the spirit of the bush to reside ready to be called upon by the diviner. Advised by the bush spirit (asye usu) the diviner will determine the reason that a woman is barren and direct her as to what she must do bear children. It is the energy and power of the bush spirits that create and give life that are contacted by the diviner and directed to the woman. This well carved figure exhibits typical Baule concern with the aesthetics of the presentation of the beauty of the women and child. Her hair is carefully combed and modeled and scarification on her chest, abdomen, neck and face show her as a mature and prominent woman of her village.

Recommended Reading:

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.