Baule: Visions of Africa Series: Alain-Michel Boyer


The Baule descend from the Akan peoples who inhabit Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Three hundred years ago the Baule people migrated westward from Ghana when the Asante rose to power. The Baule now reside at the center of the Ivory Coast and possess one of the most diversified of arts cultures. They employ different media, including wooden sculpture, gold and brass casting similar to their Asante ancestors, and mask and figure carvings.

Their art is so varied that one might imagine some works originate from different cultures: what is there in common between a flat mask-disc and an idealized face mask which nevertheless come from a single ceremony? Or between a glazed statuette of a man or woman, and a monkey figure with the head of a dog, coated in coagulated blood?

Their art encompasses every form of creation: not only masks and statuettes, but also sculpted doors, decorated divination boxes, gold jewels. The book presents a selection of Baule masterpieces from public and private collections worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of African art (Smithsonian), Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University Art Gallery, Fowler Museum of UCLA, University of Pennsylvania Museum.

Alain-Michel Boyer, professor of African art, became a member of the Conseil National des Universites in Paris after teaching at a number of American universities. He lived in a Baule village for three years and spends several months a year in Africa. He is the author of several books including Les Arts d’Afrique (Hazan, 2006).

Publisher : 5 Continents Editions (November 25, 2007)

Language: : English Paperback
160 pages
ISBN-10 : 8874393865
ISBN-13 : 978-8874393862

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