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Lot n° 2

Anthropomorphic monkey Ivory Coast Wood with slightly...

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Anthropomorphic monkey Ivory Coast Wood with slightly crusty patina H. 51 cm Anthropomorphic monkey, Ivory Coast H. 20 in Provenance : - European private collection Among the Baoule people, sculpted figures are part of a permanent dialogue between the tangible and the intangible. In this way, they materialize the various spirits of the earth, the bush, the water or the supernatural world. They are seen as interfaces between the visible world of the living and the invisible beyond. Anthropomorphic monkeys, known as aboya or mbotumbo, are particularly involved in divination rites. The cup they hold in their hands is intended to receive offerings. The slightly crusty patina that covers the figure here lends it added power. The monkeys represent amuin (deities). They intervene when the power of the genies alone is insufficient to resolve a situation. Their bodies are generally very anthropomorphic, here made even more human by the fact that they are sitting on a chair. While the hands are human, the legs are animal-like. The face is a cross between a cynocephalic ape and a hyena. The ears remain curiously human. Highly sacred, these figures are among the oldest in Baule country. Handed down from generation to generation, they are often carefully preserved and hidden away.

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