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Baoulé Colon Figures

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These colourful hand-carved wooden 'Colon' figures originated in Ivory Coast during the colonial period. 'Colon' is the French name for a colonist, and the original figures commonly depicted European colonial officials such as civil servants, doctors, soldiers or technicians. However, the genre developed to include Baoulé people dressed in colonial style, representing a Europeanised African middle class and the continuing influence of the European settlers on this former French colony.

It has been suggested that this style of carving originated as an African response to colonisation and repression at the hands of the colonial state (the Baoulé waged one of the longest wars of resistance against French colonisation). Some claim that the statues were originally seen as satirical caricatures of colonial officials; others that they are simply depictions of new subjects in local styles. Whatever their true origins, these figures tell a powerful story and capture a unique moment in history.

Hand-carved and hand-painted by artisans from the Baoulé people of Ivory Coast.

Height: from 12in - 14in.

Please note some figures have light signs of wear. This is deliberate and is designed to give the statues a vintage look.