Baule Divination Gong Tapper/Beater - Ivory Coast
Elaborate gong beaters called "Lawle" are sculpted with images of humans,
animals, masks & geometric designs and are used by Komien,
professional spirit mediums who perform divinations. After rig-
orous training that can take several years to complete, a medium
is conditioned to enter a trance to the steady beating of the small
iron gong. The diviner usually enters the trance indoors, before he
or she proceeds to the public space where the consultation is to
be held. During the session which may last several hours, the
medium holds the gong & lawle, striking it if the trance begins to
wear off. While possessed, the medium speaks with the voices of
various nature spirits. Cures prescribed by Komien are often re-
markably effective in combating both physical & psychological
ills. Note the one side of the face is totally worn away.
16.5" x 7/8" x 1.5" - 17.5" on its 2" square base.