Male Figure (Waka Sran)
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
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.
early 20th century
11 x 3 9/16 x 4 1/4 in. (27.9 x 9 x 10.8 cm) (show scale)
Frank L. Babbott Fund
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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
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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.
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