Baule Trance Diviners Headdress
Origin: Toumodi region, Ivory Coast
Approx Age: Mid 20th Century
Materials: Cloth, leather, cowrie shells, animal hair, wood
Dimensions cm: 20 tall x 23 long
Ref. Number: 1168
A Baule trance diviners headdress or hat that was owned by the ‘Komian’ of the village of Toumodi where this was collected from, very worn condition and missing its original tail. Some cowrie shells missing and material worn through in places and leather to the inside of the hat is discoloured due to constant wear. The Komian would wear this hat whilst performing in a trance state in ceremony. Komian’s of the Baule people can be male or female.
The Baule believe that a diviner, Komian, is possessed by a bush spirit who communicate to them. Usually, people who consult a trance diviner privately will sit in a small shrine with the diviner and his or her sculptures.
Noufou Komian, is the name used for the ceremonies of komian’s, komian’s are spiritual mediums that can predict the future and also possess healing powers to which they treat the sick of the village, for the healing they use figures made for the ritual healing for the sick and to cast out evil spirits by a way of using the ancestors help.. The Baule trance diviners tool-kit consists of hats, a display of weapons and iron gongs with small wooden hammers ‘Lawle’. Diviners own a small array of different statues for all kinds of matters, from healing the sick to defending the village from outsiders with ill intent. Baule diviners also carry out a non-trance divination method using an oracle pot and a mouse ‘Gbekre-
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