Belle (Kuwaa) Healing Figure

Female Figure Belle (Kuwaa) Belle Yella area, Liberia Wood, copper alloy, red cloth, sacrificial material Date: 1900’s Height 18¾ inches (47.5 cm) CFT Collection, California

Female Figure
Belle (Kuwaa)
Belle Yella area, Liberia
Wood, copper alloy, red cloth, sacrificial material
Date: 1900’s
Height 18¾ inches (47.5 cm)
Private Collection

This figure is the spirit of the “Grandmother of the Village” and was owned jointly by the Poro and the Sande women’s association in Belle  and Loma culture. It would be brought into the public during an epidemic, or to cure sick people if traditional healing didn’t work. It was considered a very powerful image and was not often seen.

The style of this particular example is from the center of Belle territory. Its copper-colored eyes reflect the idea that a sick person will see the figure with bloodshot eyes or the “eyes of the sick”. A dark coating of flaking sacrificial material and blood covers the figure and its red cloth skirt.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *