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Around 1 million Baule occupy a part of the eastern Cote d’Ivoire that is both forest and savanna land. The Baule is one of the rare tribes where sculpture is produced for aesthetic appreciation as well as for ritualistic purposes. Baule wooden sculptures allow a closer contact with the supernatural world. The statues, male and female, have a strongly marked, traditional style. The face is delicate, forehead high, mouth finally cut. The tribal hairdo is highly stylized, corresponding to the hairdo still used by Baule today.
The figure represents a spouse from the spirit world. Baule people believe that every person has such a spouse. It manifests itself through a series of dreams, usually of a sexual nature, and is believed to be responsible for practical and spiritual problems that arise in the life of that individual. The figure is kept in the person’s room.