Baoule Asie Usu deviner figure


Divination and aesthetics in African art

In Baule culture, divination is the work of mediums called komyenfwe. During the sessions, they are possessed by the spirits who, through them, can predict the future and reveal the hidden reasons for illnesses and disastrous events. The spirit of possession resides in the asie usu statue which is an important part of the medium's paraphernalia. The mind at rest must be awakened (by ringing a gong) so that it leaves asie usu and takes possession of the medium. He must always make sure never to inconvenience him.

The asie usu here is a superb statue of a woman standing, a container in her hands, like the figures carrying the gbekre cup. The piece testifies to a great naturalism and an undeniable mastery of the sculptor in the realization of volumes, balances and details which are very important since the figure, serving as a receptacle for the spirit, must honor the latter by its beauty.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
Mid XXth century
53 cm
Ethnic group
Baoulé / Baulé
Ivory Coast
François C. Bazelaire, painter and sculptor, Bruxelles

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