The Baule resisted the invasion of French colonials longer than any other West African people. They managed to uphold their practices, traditions and beliefs during this dark period. The Baule, unlike most tribes have an aversion for strict political systems. They do not engage in initiations, age class systems, secret societies, circumcisions or any other functions that are dictated by hierarchical control. Each village is self governing by elders and everybody participated in discussions, including slaves if there were any. Artistically speaking, the Baule of the Ivory Coast, do not recognize a category of items that are labeled “art”. They do not identify to the “art experience”. The Baule do not hold objects in high esteem for aesthetic reasons rather they focus on the spiritual presence that is related to the object. Despite this fact their craftsmanship is old and legendary.
Baule doors share the careful execution characteristic of other Baule sculpture. Unlike most of the Baule masks and figures, however, the doors were not secret and were always on view. The elegant bas reliefs depict figures, heads, crocodiles, birds, objects and abstract patterns with precision and balanced asymmetry, are permanent displays of Baule artistic skill. Such a superior door is on display here! A unique checker boarding design serves as a background for two raised crocodiles targeting the same bird while a turtle observes the action. Each figure is very nicely carved and well detailed. This is a sturdy 3 panel door and an excellent representation of Baule craftsmanship!
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Dimensions: 57 inches tall x 3 1/2 inches deep x 35 inches wide.
The crocs are 38 inches long and raised 2 inches of the back board.
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