Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Ivory Coast Baule Mbra Gbekre Tribal Fetish
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Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Ivory Coast Baule Mbra Gbekre Tribal Fetish:
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Striking African West Coast Baule Mbra Cult Monkey Figure – Gbekre Fetish
Height: 57 Centimeters
Wood, Encrusted Material
Estimated Mid 20th Century Fair - Good Highly stylized zoomorphic power figure zoomorphic form aged surface US East Coast - Estimated $18.00 Exact rate use shipping calculator
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Documentation of Authenticity / Any Available Provenance Will Be Included With This PieceCONDITION
Wood deterioration, chips and scrapes, many age cracks, worn areas, overall condition fair to good. Thank you and please view my other items.
The Baule tribe is one of the largest groups in the West Coast. The Baule tribe has distinct styles which are more naturalistic than masks used in spirit cults. Their religion was founded upon the idea of immortality of the soul. There are three types of masks from the Baule tribe: A helmet mask in the shape of a buffalo head. The Bonu Amuen helmet mask represents a buffalo's head with a flat horns, a T-shaped nose and a rectangular mouth with exposed teeth which imitate the fierce animal that is to defend the group. It can come painted with black, white and red pigments. Originally this mask was worn only by men. Presently it is used to protect villages from external threats and oblige women to a certain discipline. The mblo is the second. They are rounded with realistic human features. This mask has a rounded face with realistic features, a pointed chin, T-shaped nose, semi circle eyes, raised scarification which is typical of the Baule tribe. They are usually portraits of particular individuals. They do not seem to have sacred function and are worn only during festivities visited by important people. Fine scarifications and coiffures denote personal beauty, refinement and a want to give pleasure to others. This mask can have two faces which are side by side, which symbolize twins, which is a good omen for Africans and the marriage of the sun and the moon. Goli festival masks. The Goli festivals are an all day affair that will involve the whole village and the appearance of three masks, palm wine and traditional music. They are held to celebrate new crops, the visits and funerals of important men. The three types of masks used during these festivals are: first, a round shape and represents a highly styled face beneath a pair of horns; second, a helmet mask which represents a buffalo head with antelope horns; the third is used for closing the festivities, and has an lengthened human face with a pair of backward-swept horns. The Baule have monkey figures commonly used for the "Mbra" cult that more or less resemble each other. Endowed with pragmatic jaw and sharp teeth and a granular patina resulting from sacrifices, the monkey sometimes holds a bowl or a pestle in its paws that was used to hold an egg. Sources differ on its role or function: some say it intervenes in the ritual of divination, others that it is a protection against sorcerers, or a protective divinity of agrarian rites, or a bush spirit. Owned only by trance diviners and certain families, the figure resides hidden outside under a shelter. Baule Monkeys are powerful objects, which are forofferden to be seen in public display. Monkey figures share stylistic features with the mens´s sacred masks, and have some of the qualities of secrecy and danger to women. They combine animal and human traits in such way that it is nearly impossible to separate them, and they have the prominent teeth and boxy muzzle typical of the masks.
Painter Fred Uhlman words - Most of the artists I admired, Picasso, Modigliani, Deraini, to mention only a few, had collected African art and had been profoundly influenced by it. Shortly afterwards I bought the Baule Fetish and the Baule bobbin which are still two of the finest pieces in my collection. It is easy to see why I bought them and why from that moment I have never stopped collecting. The head of the bobbin or heddle - pulley which is after all only a functional object for the purpose of weaving seemed to me then and today as beautiful as a Greek goddess. The fetish moved me as deeply as the bobbin by its silent tragic dignity and its air of profound meditation. GUARANTEE
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