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Creator Nationality: African; West African; Baule
Creator Name-CRT: Baule peoples
Title: Diviner's Figures
View: Full View, MAA_.1978.412.391
Creation Start Date: 1800
Creation End Date: 1999
Creation Date: 19th-20th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Wood, pigment, beads, iron
Dimensions: H. 21 13/16 in. (55.4 cm) and 20 2/3 in. (52.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1978.412.390-.391
Credit Line: The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1969
Baule diviners are consulted by people who desire assistance in solving significant problems, perhaps relating to childbearing or other health concerns. Sculptures are often an important presence in divining sessions. Diviners may inherit such works from older colleagues or commission them based on the direction of a spirit whose insights they draw upon in their professional consultations.
This pair of sculptures for a trance diviner is among the most renowned masterpieces of Baule art. Though depicted as separate male and female figures, they are perfectly harmonized through matched gestures, stances, and expressions. Together they reflect and embody Baule ideals of civilized beauty, with their elegant coiffures, scarifications, and beaded ornaments. Their slightly downturned gazes and contained postures and their powerful, muscular legs are testimony to the figures' respectful demeanor and youthful health.
AMICA ID: MMA_.1978.412.390-.391
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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