Iv. Coast: Rare and Old Tribal used African Baule mask.
Height: 35 cm.
people is one of the largest ethnic group in the Côte d'Ivoire. They have played a
central role in twentieth-century history of the country. They waged the longest war of
resistance to French colonization of any West African people, and maintained their
traditional objects and beliefs longer than many groups in such constant contact with
European administrators, traders, and missionaries. The Baule belong to the
Akan peoples who inhabit Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. According to a legend, during the eighteenth century, the queen,
Abla Poku, had to lead her people west to the shores of the Comoe, the land of Senufo. In
order to cross the river, she sacrificed her own son. This sacrifice was the origin of the
name Baule, for baouli means “the child has died.” Now about one million
Baule occupy a part of the eastern Côte d'Ivoire between the Komoé and Bandama rivers
that is both forest and savanna land. 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, secret societies, or associations
with hierarchical levels. Each village was independent from the others and made its own
decisions under the presiding presence of a council of elders. Everyone participated in
discussions, including slaves. It was an egalitarian society. The Baule compact villages
are divided into wards, or quarters, and subdivided into family compounds of rectangular
dwellings arranged around a courtyard; the compounds are usually aligned on either side of
the main village street.
Stand not included.