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Male Figure (Waka Sran)

Arts of Africa

This figure most likely embodies a "spirit spouse"—the husband or wife every person is said to have had before birth. Through dreams, misfortune, and other signs, a person may learn that his or her spirit spouse feels neglected or jealous. One way to appease the spirit is to commission a carved figure of it and carefully nurture it with food offering and perhaps bathe and rub it with oil.

DATES early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 11 x 3 9/16 x 4 1/4 in. (27.9 x 9 x 10.8 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Frank L. Babbott Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Very finely carved. Has beard, scarification marks at corners of mouth, temples, forehead, around neck and on upper back; hairdress carefully detailed with knob at back. CONDITION: This piece is fragment: face is in fairly complete condition, but head, arms and lower torso are largely eaten away. Lower part of figure has been lost. Large check on left side of head.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Baule. Male Figure (Waka Sran), early 20th century. Wood, 11 x 3 9/16 x 4 1/4 in. (27.9 x 9 x 10.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, 61.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 61.3_front_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE front, 61.3_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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