Bronze Baule Asie Usu Shamanic Figure, Ivory Coast, Africa
Bronze Baule Asie Usu Shamanic Figure, Ivory Coast, Africa
Bronze Baule Asie Usu Shamanic Figure, Ivory Coast, Africa
Tribal Bod Mod

Bronze Baule Asie Usu Shamanic Figure, Ivory Coast, Africa

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Item details

Vintage from before 2000

A fine older example of a shamanic figure, asie usu, in cast bronze from the Baule people of coastal Africa. Shows some encrustation from sacrificial anointment, money cowries (Monetaria moneta), and a cloth bound bag of magic fetish material. Lower figure has an opening in the belly with remnant sacrificial residue inside. Extraordinary example of the type, very displayable. Measures about 10 inches overall.

The Baule people, a large tribe in Cote D'Ivoire - Ivory Coast, have two types of shamanic figure: the smooth ‘spirit spouses’, who do not receive sacrificial offerings, and the much rarer figures depicting bush spirits. The latter are called ‘Asie usu’ (or ‘Bo usu’) and, when not in use are stored in the homes of komien divinerss on bo usu shrines and receive sacrificial offerings at regular intervals.

It is believed that bush spirits (also called asie usu) reside in asie usu figures, the resting place and home for Baule bush spirits. During consultations with clients, Baule diviners make use of these asie usu figures to form a link between the physical world and the spiritual. To understand the cause of problems or misfortunes faced by clients, the komien places an asie usu figure between himself and the client. Through incantations, the komien becomes possessed by the spirit residing in the figure, and this trance makes it clear to the diviner what the issues are, how they can be solved and what the future holds for his client.