About this artwork
Until the 1950s, along the eastern edge of the Baule region carved staffs like this example were made to honor important ancestors. That practice has given way to rituals focusing on stools and gold inherited from deceased family members. In the example displayed here an idealized male figure is seated on a stool, with three faces below him that may symbolize wealth in the form of wives. The drum carved farther down likely alludes to success in battle.
- Figural Staff
- Côte d'Ivoire (Object made in)
- Wood and iron
- H.: 160 cm (63 in.)
- Purchased with funds provided by Bernice Hirsch, William Hartmann, and Mr. and Mrs. Herbert R. Molner in memory of Milton Hirsch; African and Amerindian Art Purchase Fund