Baule Peoples, Cote D' Ivoire
H: 58 inches, W: 26.5 inches
Material: wood, metal
Solid wooden doors were carved for high ranking nobles and chiefs among the Baule peoples. Doors with elaborately carved relief designs were, however, originally reserved for the most important chiefs. They were placed on the dwellings of the chiefs, and were not seen by most ordinary people during the chief's lifetime.
Two parts of the door shown here, joined by three metallic joints, may have alluded to twin birth, the primordial couple, and the unity of the Baule people. On either side of them, a france diviner gong and mallet have been carved. Two round dishes on either side of the figures are to feed the ancestral couples. Below the feet of the spirits are a leopard and two sheathed swords/knifes, symbol of strength, might and royalty. The door measures 58 inches high and 26.5 inches in width; and had fine aged patina.