Male Figure (Waka Sran)
Arts of Africa
This figure most likely embodies a "spirit spouse"—the husband or wife every person is said to have had before birth. Through dreams, misfortune, and other signs, a person may learn that his or her spirit spouse feels neglected or jealous. One way to appease the spirit is to commission a carved figure of it and carefully nurture it with food offering and perhaps bathe and rub it with oil.
early 20th century
11 x 3 9/16 x 4 1/4 in. (27.9 x 9 x 10.8 cm) (show scale)
Frank L. Babbott Fund
Very finely carved. Has beard, scarification marks at corners of mouth, temples, forehead, around neck and on upper back; hairdress carefully detailed with knob at back. CONDITION: This piece is fragment: face is in fairly complete condition, but head, arms and lower torso are largely eaten away. Lower part of figure has been lost. Large check on left side of head.
This item is not on view
Baule. Male Figure (Waka Sran), early 20th century. Wood, 11 x 3 9/16 x 4 1/4 in. (27.9 x 9 x 10.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, 61.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 61.3_front_PS2.jpg)
front, 61.3_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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