Baule Figural Chief's Staff Custom Stand Côte d'Ivoire
This superb carved staff comes from the Baule of the Ivory-Coast. The figure on the top is carved in a classic Baule style. Among the Baule, staffs of this kind were generally in the possession of elites or elders. They were meant to be seen in public and admired as works of art while serving to support one as they walked. Being supported by a carved staff also served as metaphor for the staff provided symbolic support as well as physical support. Staffs were an indicator that its owner was a man of importance and one fully initiated into Baule religion and symbolism has the figure on the handle and the snakes on the shaft.