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.
Sotheby's New York, November 1995, Ex. Tony and Pura Chen, and Ex. Scott Rodolitz, Ex. Christopher and Genevieve McConnell collection
Height including base: 22 ½"