Seated Male Figure

Date: 19th–mid-20th century

Geography: Côte d'Ivoire, Bandama River region

Culture: Baule peoples

Medium: Wood, beads

Dimensions: H. 20 1/16 x W. 5 1/4 x D. 7 1/8 in. (51 x 13.3 x 18.1 cm)

Classification: Wood-Sculpture

Credit Line: The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1969

Accession Number: 1978.412.425


Baule carving traditions embrace embellished functional objects, mask forms that enhance performances, and sculptures that facilitate relations with the spirit world. In Baule society, aesthetics play an important role not only in providing the sculptor with a worthy source of inspiration but also in ensuring a sculpture's efficacy. This sculpture of a seated male figure presents an unusual level of stylization for a Baule figure. Its telescopic limbs, concave circular face, and the way the seat merges with the hind of the sitter are particularly distinctive. The shape of the seat and the facial features underline the Baule's connection with the Akan world.