Baoule are an ethnic subdivision of the ‘mighty’ Akans. They comprise about 3% of Ivorian population. Baoule people gained momentum in recent years and have their say in the political masses of Ivory Coast.
Like Akan people, Baoule are tied with rich ancestral beliefs, customs and norms.
Baoule believe that each individual is paired off with a deity, a spirit, who remains tied to it even before the inception of individual in the real world.
Different statues represent different spiritual forms for example ‘blobo bian’ is represented as man’s spiritual wife whereas ‘blobo bia’ is a women’s spiritual husband.
The spiritual counterparts can get annoyed with each other and are ‘regained’ via kola nuts, fruits and other tributes.
Use of masks is common; the ‘mbobo’ mask represents famous forebears.
The ‘gba gba’ mask is worn during harvest season at funerals of prominent women. It metaphorically represents old age ‘wisdom’.
The ‘bonu amuen’ masks acts as a protective shield and as a defence tool against expected or unexpected mishaps.
‘Goli’ is the main festival adopted from Mande people.
Villages will gather in streets wearing masks representing different factions of society.
The Baoules are unique, rich and dominant in different cultural orientations.
Fewer in number, the Baoule ‘clan’ may be, but are agile and active contributors to Ivorian culture.
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