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    Description

    BAULE, Ivory Coast
    Standing Female Figure

    Wood, glass beads, fiber, pigments

    Baule people believe that before a soul is born into this world, it has a "spirit spouse" in the spirit world. Normally, this connection is not felt during the course of life, but it can have a subtle influence on choices and paths one takes. A man has a spirit wife, "blolo bla," and a woman has a spirit husband, "blolo bian." These unseen beings act rather like opposite sex alter egos.

    If a person has an unusual amount of trouble or bad luck in life, a diviner may determine that the trouble has been caused by an unhappy spirit spouse, jealous because not enough attention has been paid to it. There is a good chance that problems can be resolved through the medium of a carved image of the spouse, whose exact details are dictated in dreams. Such figures are always shown in the prime of life and in a dignified manner; they embody all the Baule ideals of physical appearance and gender-specific social norms. The figure is installed in the owner's bedroom, where it receives small sacrifices as time is spent in quiet communion with it. This extra attention will usually resolve the difficulties. Ownership and use of such figures is generally a private matter and not a topic spoken of in public. Many figures lose their relevance when the owner dies.

    The present "blolo bla" is larger than many such figures, and stands with elbows bent and fingers interlaced in front of her. She wears a necklace of beads and more beads around her waist like real women do, and she has a hair ornament carved into the back of her hairdo. She wears representations of brass anklets, and legs, anklets and feet are all separated, perhaps as made.

    Provenance:
    The Robert V. Berg Collection

    Read more about the Robert V. Berg Collection here.



    Height: 23 inches


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2016
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 316

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