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Art Gallery the Eye and the Hand

Who are the Baule?

About three million people living mainly in central Ivory Coast are defined as Baule. Yet after a closer study it semblairaient these men identify with villages or village clusters (ranging from 4 to 12) as an ethnic group. although the Baule ethnic reality remains msytérieuse can not be denying the existence of a style Baule. artists who use this style talk Baule and abroad their art is known as Baule for over a century.

the Baule are described as one of the largest ethnic groups in the Ivory Coast and played a key role in its history in the twentieth. Of all the peoples of West Africa are the ones who fought the war of the fiercest resistance against the French colonization. They tenaciously preserved their traditional objects and beliefs. The Baule have generally rejected all forms of Christianity have been unreceptive to Islam


african Baule

Total population
3 000 000
Regions with significant populations
Côte d'Ivoire
3 000 000
Language (s)
Religion (s)
Christianity, traditional religion
Group (s) connected (s)
nearby: Akan, Agni
subgroups: Akol, Sah, Agba, Gbloh, Ahitou, Kode, Nanafouè, Sasiklan, Goly, Oualébo, Ahaly, Sondo, Faly, Wan, Dô'n, Souhamlin, N'gaban, Ngain, N'zikpli, Ayahou, Fahafouè, Anoh, Elomoué, Yaoure

The Baule are a nation of Ivory Coast, living mainly in central Israel, near the cities of Bouake and Yamoussoukro. They represent about 23% of the population (about 3 million people) are part of the Akan group, and are from neighboring Ghana. He settled in Ivory Coast in the eighteenth century, led by Queen Abla Poku. The name comes from the Baule sacrifice by Queen Poku, of a son to pass a river, when she led the flight of his people of Ghana: "ba or li" ("The child died "). The Baule settled between the rivers Bandama and Comoé.
Founder Myth
In this legend, it is Queen Abla Poku who sacrificed his only son to save his tribe from death.
Abla Poku, Queen of Kumasi and the Gold Coast (now Ghana) is the most famous person in the country. She and her people live in peace until she learns a very bloody attack against Kumasi is planned by nomadic peoples living around the capital. The reason for the attack is the fact that the tribe is very rich thanks to a good harvest. A prompt decision is made, because the enemies are too dangerous: the tribe wants to flee with his queen to find a place more peaceful.
During the flight, they face many obstacles, but the queen is always wise and can solve all problems. This situation changes when they arrive at the Comoé, a large river in the country. It's time tragic, because there is no possibility to cross the River. It is a geographical barrier. Time is short because of the enemies who still follow the tribe.
The Queen asks the seer of the tribe to consult the oracles which has the result that the spirit of Comoé application of human blood of a male creature to make way for the whole tribe. After the shock and looking for a volunteer, the queen wants to sacrifice, because the tribe has no male heroes. When she learns that the mind refuses the sacrifice of a woman, there is only one possibility: the sacrifice of his son Kouakou. In a pathetic moment, he accepts his destiny to save his mother and his people although he is the only son of the queen.
After the cruel death of the volunteer, supernatural events allow the passage of Comoé. The people settled in a peaceful place and celebrates the funeral Kakou for several months.
Posterity Abla Poku never forgot this event of the sacrifice. It is said that at night you can hear the songs of Baoulés discussing this old legend and praise the queen and her son who is a hero.
The legend of Baule
There are long, long time, lived on the edge of a quiet lagoon, a peaceful tribe of our brothers. Its young men were many, noble and courageous, his wives were beautiful and joyful. And their queen, Queen Poku, was the finest among the finest. Long, long time, peace was upon them and the slaves themselves, the son of the captives of past times, were happy with their happy owners. One day came many enemies as magnans. He had to leave the huts, plantations, lagoon fish, leaving the nets, give up everything to flee. They went into the forest. They left their spines with cloth, then their flesh. He had to run away forever, without rest, without truce, followed closely by the savage enemy. And their queen, Queen Poku, walked last, carrying her child back. Upon passing the giggling hyena, elephant and wild boar fled, chimpanzee and lion growled surprised deviated from the path. Finally brush species appeared, then the savanna and palmyra palms and, again, the horde sang his song of exile:
Houn''Mi Ano, Ano Mi houn, blah oh Ebolo Nigua, mo ba gnan min''
My husband Ano, Ano my husband, come Geniuses take me from the bush
Tired, exhausted, emaciated, they arrived on the evening beside a great river whose course was broken on huge rocks. And the roaring river, the waves reached to the tops of the trees and fell and the fugitives were terrified. Dismayed, they looked. Was this the water that made them live once, Water, their best friend? It took an evil genius excitata against them.
And the conquerors became closer. And for the first time, the wizard spoke: "The water has become bad, he said, and it does calm down when we have given him what we hold most dear. And the song of hope resounds:
Ebe nin nin ba fle fla Ebe nin nin nin nan fle Ebe nin dja dja Yapen'sè or wali
Someone calls his son calls his mother Somebody Someone calls his father's beautiful girls marry
And each gave her bracelets of gold and ivory, and all he had been saved. But the sorcerer's pushed up and showed the young prince, the baby of six months: "This, he says, what we value most. And the mother, frightened, pressed her child to her heart. But the mother was also the queen and, right at the edge of the abyss, she raised the child smiling over his head and threw it into the water roaring. While hippos, huge hippos emerged and, placing them one after the other, formed a bridge and the bridge the people in miraculous escape passed by singing:
Ebe nin nin ba fle fla Ebe nin nin nin nan fle Ebe nin dja dja Yapen'sè or wali
Someone calls his son calls his mother Somebody Someone calls his father's beautiful girls marry
And Queen Pokou spent the last on the shore and found his people worshiping. But the queen was also the mother and she could only say "Baule", which means: the child died. And thanks to Queen Poku that the people kept the name of Baule.
The legend shows the tragic sacrifice of a young prince. All other men of the tribe are not ready to sacrifice themselves because they are afraid or they are cowards.
The legend also contains some supernatural elements that have symbolic meaning. It does not contain social criticism, however, the legend is full of honor and pride in ancestors who saved the whole tribe. That's why posterity has become possible. It may be regarded as the cultural heritage of a people who grew up a lot today is the source of the existence of the Baule.
The legend is so rich in political elements and elements of creation myths, the social differences and human values in the municipality.
The social situation of the tribe of Abra-Poukou changes with the leak. They become nomads. Similarly, the qualities of the government are implemented: this reflected the policy of the queen. This legend still has the particularity of being told how a myth. It still contains a song in tribute to the queen and her son.
To focus on the main characters - the Queen, her son and the prophet - one can say that the queen represents wisdom, intelligence and all knowledge, because its decisions and judgments are always fair. His son Kakou represents purity and innocence. This is the tragic character of the legend because he is sacrificed for her tribe, it is a gesture on his part géneriosité. You can almost compare this action with the crucifixion of Christ, for he too was young and innocent and he has accepted the highest sacrifice, death. He was also killed in the community.
The soothsayer is the voice of the people and represents the relationship of the people with magic. It symbolizes the public and the common suffering.
There are about twenty sub-groups within specific geographic areas.
Thus we have:
▪ Akou in the Yamoussoukro area;
▪ Sah in the sub-prefecture Djébonouan, with a community in the sub-prefecture of Toumodi;
▪ Agba in the departments of Dimbokro of Bocanda, Daoukro of Welle, and in Sub-prefectures and Kouassi-Kouassikro Ettrokro;
▪ Gbloh in the sub-prefectures and Languibonou Diabo;
▪ Ahitou in the department Tiébissou;
▪ Kode in the sub-prefectures of Ando-Kékrénou, and Beoumi Kondrobo in the department of Beoumi;
▪ Nanafouè in the sub-prefectures of Yamoussoukro, to Attiégouakro and Tiébissou;
▪ Satiklan in the sub-prefecture of Botro;
▪ Goly in the sub-prefecture Bodokro;
▪ Oualébo in the department and Sakassou Toumodi (Oualèbo South);
▪ Ahaly in the sub-prefecture of Brobo;
▪ Sondo in the department M'bahiakro;
▪ Faly the north of Bouaké;
▪ Dô'n occupying the intersection of the sub-prefectures of Bouake, and Sakassou Languibonou;
▪ Souhamlin in the sub-prefecture Taabo;
▪ N'gban in the sub-prefectures Tién'diékro, and Kpouébo Taabo and in the Department of Toumodi;
▪ the N'zikpli Didiévi in the department of community and in the sub-prefecture of Toumodi;
▪ Ayahou in the departments and Sakassou Bouaflé;
▪ the Fahafouè in the town and sub-prefecture of Bouake;
▪ Anoh in the sub-prefecture Prikro.
▪ The Elomoué in the Department of Tiassalé.
▪ The Yaour in the region who have conquered the Bouaflé Yonin-Yonin.
These sub-groups actually speak the same language with particular nuances in tone and pronunciation.
In addition to these sub-groups, other ethnic groups belonging mainly to the southern Mande group tend to assimilate to the Baule, probably because of the influence due to proximity. These wan (Tiéningbué, Kounahiri) of Ngain, M'bahiakro).
Good workers, the Baule occupied the forest areas of west and south-west of the country, operating large plantations of coffee and cocoa, thereby changing the names of localities in these areas.
The names in the Baule by day of birth (male, female)
▪ Monday: kiss: (Kouassi, Akissi).
▪ Tuesday: Djola (Kouadio, Adjoua).
▪ Wednesday: Mlane (Konan, Amenan).
▪ Thursday: Wei (Kouakou, Ahou).
▪ Friday: Yah: (Yao, Aya).
▪ Saturday: Foué (Koffi, Affoué).
▪ Sunday: My-nin (Kouame, Amoin).
The names depending on the position in the family
▪ Third child of a succession of children of same sex: N'Guessan.
▪ Fourth child of a succession of children of same sex N'dri.
▪ The ninth child of a mother N'goran.
▪ The tenth child of a mother: Brou.
▪ The eleventh child of a mother: Loukou.
▪ The twelfth child of a mother Toungbin.
▪ The thirteenth child of a mother Abonouan.
The names of strokes
▪ Atôwla = Kouassi.
▪ Abo = Konan.
▪ Kolou = Kouakou.
▪ Adammo = Yao.
▪ Akpôlè = Koffi.
▪ = Kouamé Bly.
▪ Atchou = N'Guessan.
▪ Gadeau = N'dri
▪ Sialou = Amenan.
▪ Blédjah = Akissi
▪ bou = Affoué
The names depending on the circumstances of the birth
▪ Child born in a race of mother outside the home: Atoumgbré.
▪ Child born facing the ground: Ahoutou.
▪ Children twins: N'da.
▪ Child born after twins from the same mother: Amani.
▪ Allaly: peacefully.
▪ N'gonian: despair. To ward off bad luck.
▪ Atiman: premature baby.
▪ Abahndai: expected child
▪ Djaha, gbamlê: redhead.
▪ fri: albino.
▪ N'Siéni: where to put it to succeed (first name given to a child whose older brothers died at birth)
▪ Rassou blessing
▪ Famien: Prince
▪ N'nafiassou: I no longer believed (name given to a child whose mother is desperate to kiss a child in her womb)
▪ Béhiblo: to throw away. to express his dissatisfaction with the very thin form of the newborn. generally premature.
▪ Kodissou: if God pleases Him. to mark his uncertainty about the survival of the child because of the sad story of the first births of the mother.
▪ Koyah: it will not succeed. Same as Kodissou
▪ Kanga: slave. Children born with the umbilical cord around the neck.
The names in reference to the elements
They are worn in the most part by both sexes. Parade found to differentiate between the sexes is to precede the name; Gnah Moh to man and the woman.
▪ Yobouet: pebble.
▪ Akpoue: rock.
▪ Allah Iroko (chloroflora excelsa).
▪ Kondro: Lolote (medicinal tree bark thick).
▪ Bla: fountain.
▪ N'zué: water.
▪ Frondo: Baobab.
▪ Make: Lake.
▪ N'go: oil palm (name given to persons of light complexion).
▪ Lome spécialememt red palm species.
▪ M'mé: palm.
▪ Djué: fish.
▪ Bohoussou: Forest Engineering.
▪ Django: ficus
▪ Kongo: valley.
▪ Bera: Turaco.
▪ Oura: rubbish name given to the child born or conceived just before the divorce of her parents.
▪ Zougou: caterpillar, first attributed to people particularly hairy.
▪ Oka: mountain, hill or mound, in fact, the Baule living only in areas of upland and lowland.
▪ Gnamien: God, heaven.
▪ Assié: land.
Religious and other surnames
▪ Assoh: fetish Bocanda Elekro to Konan.
▪ Djè: Guro mask origin.
▪ Goly: original mask Wan.
▪ Diby: fetish Malinke.
▪ M'bra dance fetish
▪ Doh: fetish strictly feminine.
▪ Allou: fetish warrior.
▪ Gbangbo: fetish recognized only among the Baule of N'gban Tié'ndiékro.
▪ Allangba: fetish protector.
▪ Tanou, Tanoh: fetish.
▪ Djézou: fetish.
▪ Kra: fetish.
▪ Zouzou: birth name wan adopted especially by the Baule of Beoumi kode.
▪ Kangah slave, nowadays this name is given to children whose previous deaths.
▪ Souag.
▪ N'Gatta.
▪ Déla: fetish.
▪ Saraka: sacrifice.
▪ Kramo: marabou.
▪ Pondo: fetish.
▪ Bony
▪ Messou
▪ Saoura
▪ n'dôh Ti: Tenth child unlucky among the Baule and Fafou Faly Bouake and sometimes picked up by the neighbors, Gbloh example.
▪ Tola
Numbers and figures
▪ 1: koun
▪ 2: n'gnon
▪ 3: n'san
▪ 4: N'nan
▪ 5: n'nou
▪ 6: n'sien
▪ 7: n'so
▪ 8: moku
▪ 9: n'glouan
▪ 10: blou
▪ 11: blou there koun
▪ 12: blou there nion
▪ 20: ablaoun
▪ 30: san abla
▪ 31: Ablan san ku do
▪ 40: abla n'nan
▪ 50: able n'nou
▪ 60: able n'sien
▪ 70: able n'so
▪ 80: abla has okuai
▪ 90: abla n'glouan
▪ 100: is (koun)
▪ 200: gnon ago
▪ 300: n'san ago
▪ 1000: akpi (koun)
▪ 1100: akpi koun ago ku
▪ 1131: akpi koun are no kou kou san Ablan
▪ 2000: akpi n'gnon
▪ 3000: akpi n'san
▪ 3131: akpi n'san there are koun Ablan san koun
Some popular dances Baule:
▪ Goly especially the dancing by the Baule of Beoumi, the latter having imported their neighbors to the west of Wan Beoumi;
▪ the Adjémlé danced mainly by the Baule and Sakassou closest neighbors Gbloh is a dance-like rhythmic Zagloby Bete;
▪ the Adjoss which is danced in all regions Baule;
▪ the Kotou is a dance that resembles the Adjémlé but that is run by the Baule region of Tiebissou, etc. Yamoussoukro.
Expertise Baule
The Baule are skilled carvers, weavers, goldsmiths
▪ The weights for weighing gold, jewelry, gold ornaments of every kind have existed and exist in Baule who devote an admiration and a "cult" in gold is a symbol of heritage, opulence , power, and must avoid flying but deserve.
▪ The loincloths Baoulé "wawlé Tanni" are prized for their quality and vivid patterns. The Baule regions of Yamoussoukro and Tiébissou are the best producers.
▪ The Baule are also skilled sculptors: the masks, objects of all kinds ...
The colors in the Baule
The Baule distinguish three major color groups:
▪ Wheat: to denote both black, blue, green, violet, indigo, gray, brown etc..
▪ ôclouê: to denote both the red, yellow, pink etc..
▪ Oufoué: to describe the white, beige, khaki etc..
For the grades, they refer to natural elements like elsewhere in the West: olive green ...
Toponymy in Baule
The names of towns, villages, hamlets and camps in the Baule are given in the following combinations:
In general they are formed by the founder + kro (originally KLO)
Thus we have:
▪ Kouassikro = city, village, hamlet or settlement whose founder is Kouassi
▪ Kouadiokro = Founder: Kouadio
▪ Konankro = Founder: Konan
▪ Kouakoukro = Founder: Kouakou
▪ Yaokro = Founder: Yao
▪ Koffikro = Founder: Koffi
▪ Kouamékro = Founder: Kouamé
▪ Klêmêkro = Founder: Klem
▪ = Kouassikro Ouendé-Founder: Ouendé-Kouassi
▪ Bouake (deformation Gbêkêkro) = Founder Gbeke
▪ Yamoussoukro = Founder Yamoussou
▪ Dimbokro (originally Djimgbôklo) = Founder: Djimgbô
▪ Daoukro = Founder: Daou
▪ M'bahiakro = Founder M'bahia
▪ Bodokro = Founder: Bodo
Toponymy in reference to a particular natural feature
Reference to a stream, river
▪ Lokanouan: Along the river Loka
▪ Séssénoua: Bordering the Sesse River
▪ N'zianouan: Along the river N'zi (modification due to the tone of the founders of that village Baoulé Elomoué)
▪ Diéribanouan: Along the river Diériba
Reference to a hill, a mound, a valley
▪ = Kokumbo under the hill Kokoum
▪ = Bokabo Okabo or under the mountain (hill or mound in reality)
▪ Kongonou = In the Valley
▪ Kongonouan = On the edge of the valley, ravine
Reference to a tree, woods, forest, plant variety
▪ In Djangoménou = ficus
▪ In vigos Djékanou = (Alchornea cordifolia)
▪ Kodrobo or Kondrobo = Sub Lolote
▪ Forest Ebiara Kpakpaboh =
▪ Pakobo (originally Kpakobo) = Under the Coconut Tree
▪ Kodoubo = Sub Carapa
▪ Djamlabo = Sub Bauhinia
▪ Afotobo = Under the banana (Musa sinensis)
▪ M'méboh = Forest Palms (not to be confused with the palm M'méfiéh =)
▪ Boblénou = In the dense forest
▪ Mandanou: In the plantation
▪ Awahinou: In the dandelions
▪ Languibonou (originally Lahibonou): In the forest of garlic
Reference to a historical fact
▪ = Beoumi me that a way, you know who I am (see the story of Prince Abraha Akpo)
▪ Sakassou = On the remains of Queen Abla Poku
▪ Toumodi (originally Tomida): The alien who arrived in this city should buy the food he should eat
▪ Boukébo = forest snail (village formed in favor of the proximity of a forest provided with snails)
▪ Diabo = forest elephant red
▪ Didiévi (originally Idjévi) = Toothpick bitter
▪ Saoundi: position of vassalage
▪ Djassanou: paddock
▪ N'djébonoua: At the edge of the forest with black ants

▪ Cyprian Arbelbide Gentric and René, the Baule from their sayings and proverbs, CEDA, 1975, 191 p. (ISBN 9782218033421)
▪ N-Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba, African women in politics - Women Baule of Cote d'Ivoire, L'Harmattan, 1997
▪ P. R. Dasen (et al.) "N'glouele, intelligence among the Baule," Archives of Psychology, 1985, vol. 53, No. 205, p. 293-324
▪ Vincent Guerry, Life in a village Baoulé Inades Publishing, 1980
▪ Jerome Yao Kouadio, Proverbs Baule Ivory Coast: Types, functions and events, said ICT, 2004, 316 p.
▪ Loucou N. J. and A. Ligier, Queen Poku, Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1977
▪ Marc Menalcas, Customs' civil Baoulés Region Dimbokro, Larose Publishers, 1933, 74 p.
▪ P. of Salverte-Marmier expansion in the nineteenth century Baule - Regional Studies Baouké, Ministry of Planning, Abidjan, 1967
▪ Veronica Tadjo, Queen Poku, a concerto for a sacrifice, 2005


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