Baule figures are viewed as embodiments of "spirit spouses" from the other world. Each Baule man and woman has a wife "blolo bla" or husband "blolo bian" whom he or she left behind to come to the realm of the living. If the spiritual spouse is neglected, or if a Baule believes that it is displeased with him, an alter must be set up to make offerings to appease the angry spitit. These offerings include the scuplted portrait of the spouse, which is carried around everywhere they go. the beauty of the figures is an integral part of their function. The statues are oiled, clothed, and sometimes decorated with jewelry.
Ex Mina Wilkie Collection.
9"h x 2.5"w