African Art/Western Art


Bo Nun Amuin
The Men's Sacred Objects

VOGEL: I have never seen the men's sanctuary or any of the sacred men's objects in Baule country where they are forbidden to all women. Baule women are not supposed to know that the men's gods are represented by masks worn by mere men. Since the sight of these objects is fatal to women, my Baule neighbors were especially concerned that if I, a foreign woman, should die as a result of seeing their objects, the civil authorities would call them to account. The information I have collected comes from interviews with Baule men using museum photographs I brought with me and from data published by male researchers.

Baule Men Do Not Want Women to See Their Sacred Objects

Sacred Forest for the Men's Gods

NGUESSAN:This is a recreation of the shed in the sacred forest where the men's masks are stored. Not even men should come to this clearing alone or unauthorized, though recognized sculptors can carve here if they are working on sacred objects or if they wish to escape the distractions of the village. Offerings of food or palm wine are made here, and sometimes the men will gather to sing in honor of their gods without putting on the masks.

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