The sculptures of the Baule people of the Ivory Coast have long been recognized in Europe and the United States as one of Africa’s most significant art traditions. The work of many modern artists – Amedeo Modigliani in particular – refelects the direct influence of Baule invention and forms.
This text explores for the texture and details of Baule life and art. Illustrations include field photographs showing artworks in the intimacy of daily lives and public performances, and museum photograophs of Baule sculptures. Susan Vogel focuses on the creation and uses of Baule works of art apart from their definition as “art” in western eyes. She establishes a means for understanding Baule expressive culture from the perspective of the Baule individuals.