MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Standing Female Figure
Object Name:
Figure, Female
Other Name:
Figure, Female, Standing
Place of Origin:
Baoule, Ivory Coast, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 13"
W = 3"
D = 3"

Possibly a Blolo Bla or Blolo Bian. Represents a spouse from the spirit world. Baule people believe that every person has such a spouse.

Bacquart, P. 49

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.
Standing female figure with oval—shaped head, high double—sectioned combed hairstyle parted in center, high crescent—shaped ears. Large bulgy eyes, flat nose with small nostrils, protruding slit oval—shaped mouth with small chin. Cylindrical neck, sloping shoulders, arms carved close to body, protruding female breasts. Cylindrical body, carved loin cloth around waist, heavy legs with kneebands. Heavy calves, sandals on feet, red loin cloth, reddish brown body, black hair.
Finley Collection
Ritually Used
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
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Rear ViewRear View