The Baoulé ( Baoule) tribe

As mentioned previously, the Baoulé tribe is part of the bigger ethnic group called the Akan. The Baoulé live mainly in the middle of Cote d’Ivoire. The Baoulé population is estimated to be around 3 millions.

The Baoulé originally come from Ghana and they were lead to Cote d’Ivoire by Queen Abla Pokou. I wrote an earlier note in relation to Queen Abla Pokou. Their name come from the legend in relation to the Queen Abla Pokou and “baouli” means “ the child is dead”.

One of the former president of Cote d’Ivoire named Houphouët-Boigny was part of the Baoulé tribe.

The Baoulé as a lot of ethnic tribes in Ivory Coast have their own dance:

-Goly dance

– Adjemele dance

-Adjos dance

– Kotou dance

The Baoulé are famous sculptors, weaver and goldsmith.

The Baoulé believe in a creator God. Their God controls men and animals. Spirits have supernatural powers. The real world is the opposite of the spiritual world where souls  come from at birth and go back at death. Their belief is founded around the death and the immortality of the soul. The Baoule do ancestors workship but ancestors are not represented.

In the Baoule culture, sculptures and masks allows them to be in contact with the spiritual world. Baoule traditional masks are always wore by the men. Traditional masks corresponds to 3 types of dances/events


       Gba gba: originally from the Guro tribe, this mask is used for women funerals during the harvest seasons. It celebrates beauty.

       Bonu amuen: it protects the village from outside threats. It appears during the death of notable people.

       Goli: this mask has a rounded form and two horns. It celebrates peace and happiness.

In contrary to other ethnic groups, the sculptors skills are not passed over from father to son. It results from a personal choice.

You will see below some examples of Baoule masks:


Photobucket     Photobucket      Photobucket

~ by myafrikart on July 10, 2008.

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