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Ceremonial Weapon

A work made of wood and iron.

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  • A work made of wood and iron.

Date:

Late 19th/mid–20th century

Artist:

Baule
Côte d’Ivoire
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

The blade of this ceremonial weapon juts outward from a baboon’s mouth. It is possible that weapons like this were related to blacksmithing. Alternatively, the weapon may have belonged to a diviner whose skills derived from a close relationship with a wilderness spirit. Special training allows diviners to work in concert with such spirits to reveal the sources of human illness and trouble. Wilderness spirits often ask the people they possess to have unique objects like this weapon, or an elaborate belt [see 2011.706] made for them, to be displayed during a diviner’s public trance performances.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Arts of Africa

Culture

Baule

Title

Ceremonial Weapon

Origin

Côte d'Ivoire

Date

1875–1950

Medium

Wood and iron

Dimensions

38.7 × 5.1 × 29.2 cm (15 1/4 × 2 × 11 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Dr. Jimmy and Mrs. Jetta Jones

Reference Number

1999.380

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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