Baule figures are viewed as embodiments of "spirit
spouses" from the other world.
Each Baule man or woman is supposed to
have 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 altar must be set up to
make offerings to appease the angry spirit.
These offerings include the
sculpted portrait of the spouse of the beyond & they are carried around
everywhere they go.
The beauty of the figures is an integral part of their
function. The statues are oiled, clothed & sometimes decorated with jewelry.
Ex. Leonard Kahan Gallery, New York and ex. McConnell collection.
Height: 16 ⅜”
Width: 4 ½”
Depth: 3 &⅝"
Please note, the right hand is missing, and there is a lot of wear and tear on this piece, and as such it is being sold as is.