Kulango / Koulango Couple, Côte d'Ivoire #41, 42 PAIR

$ 2,800.00 $ 1,400.00

  • Kulango / Koulango Couple, Côte d'Ivoire #41, 42  PAIR
  • Magnificent Pair of Kulango statuettes (Côte d'Ivoire).
  • Old and authentic in heavy wood. Sold with Bases.
  • The Woman's feet are broken, the Man's right foot and the Child's left foot carried in the back also. (These "mutilations" were probably made by the original owner before selling these statuettes to take away their Power, to "Desacralize" them).
  • Measurements:  
  • Male: height = 45cm; width = 10.5cm; depth = 7cm; 
  • Female: height = 45cm; width = 11cm; depth = 8.5cm.(Dimensions without base)
  • Excellent
  • Sold ONLY as the Pair
  • The elegant and refined couple shown here is especially successful in capturing such an ideal. The figures are slender, with long torsos and muscular legs that are slightly flexed. With their eyes closed and hands resting on their abdomens, both figures reflect the same tranquil meditative attitude of contemplation. They are symmetrical and fluid in design, and their facial features are described with precision and great attention to detail. The recessed eye sockets are accentuated with a layer of white kaolin, reflecting the practice of diviners who analogously apply kaolin to their own eyes and lips, enabling them to see and hear the spirits while in a trance state. Bodily adornments on both figures include beaded strands around the neck, hips, and ankles, and are particularly significant because they function to confer the culturally desirable attributes of civilization on the wild and disruptive asye usu. The female figure is slightly smaller in size, a characteristic accentuated by the male's conical coiffure. Both figures' feet rest on circular bases and are covered with an encrustation of sacrificial matter. Great care has been exercised to apply the sacrificial offerings to the feet of the figure only, so that its overall aesthetic refinement is not marred.

    The more elaborate the ornamental and decorative features of an individual work, the more time has been invested in its execution by the sculptor, and the greater the expense to its owner. The culmination of such efforts hopefully results in the creation of a sculpture that is most attractive to the asye usu. When used by Baule diviners, such works not only flatter the asye usu but also add to the theatrical spectacle of a public pronouncement of a divinatory revelation. Their aesthetic quality dazzles potential clients with the caliber and sophistication of the instruments associated with a diviner. The beauty of a figure advertises its owner's success as an intermediary with the spirit world. Consequently, diviners prosper by commissioning superlative figures as divinatory instruments. Ownership of extraordinary objects thus directly affects a diviner's professional standing and enhances public perception of his or her efficacy.

    Further information:
    Vogel, S.M. 1997. Baule: African Art Western Eyes. Yale University Press and The Museum for African Art: New Haven and New York, p. 236.
    LaGamma, A. 2000. Art and Oracle: African Art and Rituals of Divination. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York