- Sold out
Facial ram mask Baule / Yaoure - SOLD OUT
Baule society was characterized by extreme individualism, great tolerance, a deep aversion toward rigid political structures, and a lack of age classes, initiation, circumcision, priests, and secret societies. The Baule are agriculturists; yams are the staple, supplemented by fish and game; coffee and cocoa are major cash crops. The Baule use three major types of masks: a helmet in the shape of a buffalo head, masks related only to the Goli festival and the masks representing a human face with rounded, fairly realistic features. The present mask relates to the second type. According to the Baule mythology, the ram is a heavenly demon or a spirit of agriculture. These masks are used on the occasion of the new harvest, at the visit of dignitaries, or at the funerals of notables.Baule art is sophisticated and stylistically diverse. Non inherited, the sculptor’s profession is the result of a personal choice. The Baule have types of sculpture that none of the other Akan peoples possess. Wooden sculptures and masks allow a closer contact with the supernatural world. Baule statues are usually standing on a base with legs slightly bent, with their hands resting on their abdomen in a gesture of peace, and their elongated necks supporting a face with typically raised scarification and bulging eyes. The coiffure is always very detailed and is usually divided into plaits. Baule figures answer to two types of devotion: one depicts the “spiritual” spouse who, in order to be appeased, requires the creation of a shrine in the personal hut of the individual. A man will own his spouse, the blolo bian, and a woman her spouse, the blolo bla. The Baule believe that before they were born into the world they existed in a spirit world, where each one had a mate. Sometimes that spirit mate becomes jealous of their earthly mate and causes marital discord. When this happens, a figure depicting the other world spouse is carved and placated with earthly signs of attention.
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