Baoule Asie Usu figure


Figures and spirits in the Baoulé tradition

A wooden figure of a female with beautiful dark patna and wear from use. The head has a conical shape due to the crest shaped coiffure. The face is round with elongated eyes, long, flat nose and a wide mouth. The neck has a number of rings to it, possibly representing roles of fat. The body has high, small breasts and widens to the hips and stomach. The arms hang to the side and are bent at the elbows with the hands resting above the stomach. The legs are short and the feet stand on a round base. Mounted on a custom made stand.
This statue could well be that of a spirit figure who is believed to dwell in a parallel world known as blolo, meaning “the Village of Truth”. The spirits who live in this world are believed to control the fate and destiny of humans. Specialist diviners have figures, known as asye usu, made that act as a resting place for the spirit when it is invoked to help out in the human world. They are idealised representations of humans that are believed to be desirable for the spirits to inhabit.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
1st half XXth century
24,5 cm
Ethnic group
Baoulé / Baulé
Ivory Coast
Tribal Art Collection Germany
Very good

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