Standing female figure "blolo bla"
Côte d'Ivoire, Baule
|Hans Himmelheber (1908-2003), Heidelberg, Germany (coll. in situ, 1932)
Lore (1901-1980) & Georg Kegel (1898-1974), Hamburg, Germany (Inv. no. B6)
Ludwig Bretschneider (1909-1987), Munich, Germany
German Private Collection
|H: 16.7 inch||4000 EUR|
wood, glass beads, handwritten inventory no. "B6" (bottom of the base), pedestal
The Baule believe that every human being has a spouse of the opposite sex before birth in an "other" world.
These "otherworldly partners" had to be treated well, as they easily became jealous and could then harm their human partners (infertility, impotence, money worries). If such problems occurred, a figure had to be carved out of wood to give the spiritual partner a home.
These characters "blolo bla" (female) and "blolo bian" (male) were usually kept on a small altar in the bedroom, and sacrifices such as coins or eggs were offered to them.
In order to gain the help of the "otherworldly partners", the figures had to be as appealing as possible, designed in accordance with the Baule's common ideals of beauty and richly decorated with scarification marks.