Baule Settler figure
Baule african art is known for its superb statuary, which is one of the most refined in Africa. The Baoulé sculptors were not, however, limited to figures such as Waka Sona, Asie Usu, and couples Blolo Bla and Blolo Bian. Colonization was a remarkable source of inspiration for them early on. Europeans with fair skin and exotic attire to their eyes have imprinted their artistic expression.
This figurine is a perfect example: we can easily identify a Western man wearing a famous domed headgear, pants, shirt and jacket with a tie. The colors are vivid and faithful.
Historically, the opinions of specialists in ethnographic art differ as to the exact destination of these figurines. It seems in fact that they could be diverse: some statues of settlers were made for a simple mercantile purpose, others were carved after the passage of Europeans in a village in order to keep a positive memory or to commemorate it. mock according to the behavior of the latter.
Be that as it may, the Baoulé artistic corpus has been lastingly marked by these socio-cultural exchanges and we find colonial elements subtly distilled in pieces that are a priori purely tribal.
Exceptionally, the case of this figurine is unique: it was specifically sculpted with the effigy of a doctor who worked in Baoulé territory. It was given to us by his heirs.
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