Visual Art Paper 1, Nov/Dec. 2011  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments
Question 5

Discuss Baule Art with reference to:

(a)       Location;
(b)       Underlying beliefs;
(c)       Characteristics of ancestor figures.



Few candidates were attracted to this question and their inadequate knowledge of West African art was highly noticeable in their responses. A few of them got the location right, but rather than stating the underlying beliefs and characteristics of the ancestor figures, most candidates wrote on the characteristics of Nok Art works in Nigeria. Consequently, such candidates lost some marks.

Some of the following are the points that candidates were expected to write:

Baule Art

(a)       Location

   The Baule people live and execute their art in the central part of Ivory Coast (Cote d’Voire).

(b)       Underlying beliefs

  •    The Baule people have a strong belief in ancestral worship and thus, their artworks are created primarily for this purpose.
  •     They believe in the creator God (Alura) and many other gods.
  •     They also believe in the existence of their heavenly mates which are usually represented in wood.

(c)       Characteristics of Ancestral figures

  •    They manifest high craftsmanship.
  •    The figures are slim and adorned with bold scarification.
  •    The limbs are rounded and bent inwards at the knees.
  •    They have large head with structured coiffure.
  •    They are mostly seated figures.
  •    They have smooth finishing which give shinning appearance.
  •    They have semi-closed heavy eyelids, looking like almond shape.
  •    They have high forehead.
  •    They have concave face.
  •    They have small mouth
  •    They have long torso with bulging stomach.
  •    There is emphasis on eyebrow.
  •    Arms rest gently on the stomach.
  •    Beard on the male figure is plaited.
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