Standing female figure "sika blawa"
Côte d'Ivoire, Baule
|German Private Collection||H: 8.3 inch||3500 EUR|
gold foil over wood,
These wooden sculptures "sika blawa", completely covered with gold leaf, were considered prestigious objects, displayed at important public ceremonies.
They were part of the sacred family inheritance "aja", which was kept hidden in chests. Besides the figurines, solid cast gold ornaments, unworked gold nuggets and gold dust were part of the "aja". But cash, valuable cloths and ancestor stools were also part of it.
Big funerals call for a display of the wealth of the family of the deceased, as well as of other families. To "give honor to your family, and to express condolences", gold ornaments and cloths from the "aja" are laid out around the deceased as he or she lies in state before burial. Possessions of different families are not distinguished in the display, and after burial everything is returned to its owner.
Certificate of Authenticity, Karl-Ferdinand Schädler, Munich, 21 January 1993