BAULE Four Headed Mask

  • 36-4
  • 36-2
  • 36-7
  • pa140
Baule Four Headed Mask-Ivory Coast
Carved wood
34 x 19 x 16cm
£420
  • 36-8
  • 36-5
  • 36-11
  • 36-10
  • 36-9

BAULE Four Headed Mask

£650.00

Baule Four Headed Mask-Ivory Coast
Carved wood, mid 20th century
34 x 19 x 16cm

Product Description

 

It is thought that in the 17th century the Baoulé left present day Ghana and traveled west into present day Côte d’Ivoire under the lead of the Queen Pokou. According to oral tradition, the Baoulé were forced to leave Ghana when the Ashanti rose to power. While they were fleeing for their lives they came to the Komoe river which they were unable to cross. With their enemies chasing them they began to throw their most prized possessions into the river. It came to the Queen’s attention that their most valuable possession was her son. The Queen realised that she had to sacrifice her son to the river and threw him in. Hippopotami rose from the river and allowed them to cross, saving their lives. After crossing, the Queen was so upset about losing her son that all she could say was “baouli,” meaning: the child is dead. From that point on they were known as the Baoulé

Baoulé sculptures are renowned for their refinement, and dexterity. Their sculptures include a great variety of work in gold, bronze, and ivory. Many Baoulé art objects are restricted to be seen only by the individual for whom it was made or by a specific group of people. They are often considered to be powerful spiritual objects.

An important art object in Baoulé culture is the blolo bla and blolo bian spirit spouse figures. These sculptures are private objects made for an individual to represent their spirit spouse. Each person has a spirit spouse from the other world, which they were married to before they were born into this world. People make offerings of food and money to their spirit spouse figures to keep them happy because they can influence their relationship with their earthly spouse or other earthly relationships and personal endeavours.