African

Baule Figure

Artist: Unknown
Culture/People: Baule
Place: West Africa
Media: Wood
Dims: 16.75 x 3.5 x 4 in. (42.5 x 8.9 x 10.1 cm)
Date: Early 20th century
RTC No: AF0025
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011

Description

The Baule, part of the Akan peoples, live today in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and form one of the largest ethnic groups of the region. They long resisted French colonization, retaining much of their traditional culture, individualistic society, and religious and associated art practices. Baule carving is widely recognized for its complexity and has been classified as influential “art” by the Western world. Within the Baule world carvings such as these are associated with the spiritual presence embodied in the form, rather than their aesthetic details.

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