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Figural Staff

A work made of wood and iron.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood and iron.

Date:

Probably late 19th century

Artist:

Baule
Côte d’Ivoire
Coastal West Africa

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.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Culture

Baule

Title

Figural Staff

Origin

Côte d'Ivoire

Date

1875–1900

Medium

Wood and iron

Dimensions

H. 160 cm (63 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Bernice Hirsch, William Hartmann, and Mr. and Mrs. Herbert R. Molner in memory of Milton Hirsch; African and Amerindian Art Purchase Fund

Reference Number

1985.62

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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