Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

African, New World, and Oceanic Art and Architecture

Tradition in the Baule tribe strongly emphasizes the “spirit spouse,” which is frequently portrayed as a wooden carving in Baule homes. The Baule believe each person will be united with their soulmate in the afterlife. This person is referred to as the “spiritual other” by the Baule. The living person’s health, fertility, prosperity, and safety are all things that some people think the spirit spouse can influence. This is only one of the many ways the spirit spouse might affect the person still physically present. Many first-hand accounts lend credence to this theory.

The Baule people of the Ivory Coast practice the tradition of the ghost husband. This practice dates back hundreds of years. It is still essential in Baule culture. According to McLeod, the worldview of the Baule people, which holds that everything is related, is consistent with their belief in the spirit spouse. The spirit spouse is believed to communicate with the living and the deceased. This concept plays a significant role in Baule culture. The spirit spouse was typically shown as a carved wooden figure placed on a shrine or altar by those who cared for it (Boyer, 1988). Those in authority held them in high regard and gave given special care. The statues are typically crafted by skilled artists from the Baule tribe who value their work’s spiritual significance. It is good knowing that these artisans are responsible for creating the figures. Vogel is under the impression that the Baule people made their art for both aesthetic and spiritual reasons. The Baule people have maintained this practice for many centuries. The art is comparable to that.

In the culture of the Baule, it is common practice to employ figurines that represent the spirit wives of deceased individuals in spiritual ceremonies. Participants in these rituals can be of either gender or from any walk of life. Individuals who have fought through illness or other kinds of misfortune are the ones who are most likely to develop a connection with their spiritual partner. This is because these individuals have learned to persevere in adversity. Because of this, they can seek the support of their spirit mate. These people are more inclined to believe that their spiritual partner can help them somehow because of their beliefs. Despite this, numbers play an important role in everyday life in Baule culture.

The employment of spirit companion figures is common among people of both sexes regarding spiritual activity (Hackett, 2008). The Hackett reading suggests that people who suffer from illnesses or other forms of misfortune are more likely to acquire spirit spouses to communicate with their spiritual partner and seek assistance. This is suggested by the fact that these individuals are more likely to acquire spirit spouses. So, when they are in need, these people are most likely to ask for assistance from their spirit companions. They also have the best possibility of finding a person to share their life with forever. In this way, the practice of spiritual companionship can serve as a source of comfort and support for those who are struggling.

In his essay, Boyer dives into the history of the concept of the spirit husband and its philosophical and religious origins. His area of specialization is in the culture of indigenous North Americans. The Baule believe that a person’s spirit spouse is an essential link to the afterlife and a source of a person’s spiritual power (Boyer, 1988). A mention is made of both of these points of view in this paragraph. According to the data shown in the article, the Baule believe it is essential for their mental and physical well-being to build and maintain a close relationship with their spiritual partner. This is something that they consider to be one of the most important aspects of their lives. Their eternal companion leads them through each day and instructs them on how to conduct themselves.

The sculpted wooden figure, commonly referred to as the “Baule spirit spouse sculpture,” depicts a figure of a seated man dressed in traditional Baule garb. This ensemble comprises a headpiece and a gown that wraps around the body. The sculpture is painstakingly crafted with minute details designed to portray the spiritual strength of the spirit husband. Its height ranges from 12 to 20 inches on average, and it is manufactured. The figure’s facial features are often painted and carved with a great deal of attention and are frequently ornamented with jewelry and facial markings. In addition, facial markings and jewelry are frequently used to adorn the figure.

The figure of the lady in the sculpture is typically depicted seated in a position where her legs are crossed and her arms are folded. This position was chosen so that the sculpture’s body posture could convey the concepts of protection, strength, and fertility. This posture not only serves as a reminder of how important it is to maintain a connection with the other world but also illustrates a balance between the physical and spiritual planes of existence. Also, the intricate details of the sculpture, such as the complex face markings and hairstyles, convey the spiritual beliefs and cultural customs of the Baule people.

The surface treatment of the sculpture has been painstakingly sculpted to produce a clean and gleaming finish. This finish highlights the significance of preserving a strong connection with the spiritual realm. According to Vogel, the sculpture is often painted in natural colors like red, black, white, and yellow before it is polished (Vogel, 2019). The flawless finish and intricate features of the sculpture aim to underline not only the aesthetic and cultural legacy of the Baule people but also the power that the spirit spouse possesses. This power is expressed through the sculpture.

In conclusion, the spirit spouse sculpture is a wonderful piece of art produced by the Baule people. This sculpture represents the spiritual beliefs and cultural pursuits significant to the Baule people. The sculpture’s body position, facial characteristics, and surface treatment all contribute to conveying the sense of power that the spirit husband possesses. This power is portrayed through the sculpture’s precise details. These components also serve as a gentle reminder of how essential it is to maintain a robust connection with the world outside our own. The use of traditional Baule accessories and garb, such as necklaces and headdresses, highlights the cultural significance of the sculpture. In addition, the intricate design of the sculpture serves as a memorial to the creative and cultural heritage of the Baule people. The Baule spirit marriage sculpture is a sign of spiritual guidance and protection that fascinates and intrigues people in modern times. This is because the sculpture depicts a marriage between two spirits.


Hackett, R. (2008). Baule Figures: Art, Meaning, and History in West Africa. African Arts, 41(3), 22–35.

Vogel, S. (2019). African Art Through Western Eyes. African Arts, 52(1), 6–11.

Boyer, A. (1988). Baule Spirit Spouses: Art and Rituals of West Africa. African Arts, 21(4), 34–41.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics