African tribal art Baule maternity figure from Ivory Coast.
Used as a means of communication with the spiritual world or Blolo , representing fertility , this sculpture of a woman carrying her child on her back has ethnic beauty, such as the elegant hairstyle composed of fine braids arranged in diadem and chignons ending in braid at the nape of the neck.
The scarified motifs in relief run through her anatomy, the buttocks and protruding round calves, are also part of the aesthetic criteria appreciated by the Baule. The eyelids whitened with kaolin are in an oval face with regular features.
These figures received offerings and sacrificial rituals. The patina is chipped on this piece. This Baule maternity figure has been approved as being authentic with significant signs of tribal use and age.
Two types of statues are produced by the Baule in this ritual representation, The Waka-Sona statues, “wooden being” in Baule, suggest a besieged Oussou, “being of the earth”. They form part of a type of statue intended to be used as a medium by Komien diviners, who are selected by the Asye Usu spirits to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of statue are the spouses of the afterlife, masculine, the Blolo Bian or feminine, the Blolo Bia.