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Tribal art > African Statues > Monkey Baoule

Figure de singe Baule Aboya / Mbotumbo (N° 18200)

A cloth loincloth and a belt of plant fibers surround the kidneys of this cynocephalic monkey. With his eyes raised to the sky, he presents a cup of offerings. There are several representations of the same type, with different names depending on the use that is made of them. They were mistakenly named Gbékré (mouse) because of Delafosse's misunderstanding of two cults (Boyer, Baulé 5Continents). Often linked to the cults Mbra of divination and possession, they belong to the group of 'force-beings' or amwin , intermediaries between God and men and given to the Baoulé by their Creator, as well as the sacred masks from which they share the wide gaping jaw. It would also be a minor deity named bark . For propitiatory purposes, these sculptures were to form the interior of the spirits to whom offerings were presented and on which libations were practiced. Real monkey skulls frequently formed the head of the character. The sculptures were kept in the villages, but ritual practices took place in the bush, and sometimes in the center of the dance circle. However, some were never to be seen by women, as were some masks. Crusty sacrificial patina, fragments of downs, drippings.
Acquise by Guy Mercier, consultant for the Solvay group, who at the beginning of the 20th century began to assemble a vast collection. While radiating in West and Central Africa as part of his work, and collecting in-situ works, the majority of his collection is nevertheless derived from Curiosity cabinets which abounded in European capitals during the 1920s. It also comes from prestigious galleries (Paris, Brussels, London, New York). On the death of his grandfather in the early 1980s, Jean-Charles Mercier inherited the entire collection  

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OriginEx. coll. belge Mercier
EthnyBaoule
Countrycôte d'ivoire
Material(s)wood
Height50
Depth22
Width15
Weight3.70 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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