BAULE
Figural heddle pulley
(and examples of Baule Bo Nun Amuin masks)
In use on a narrow strip loom, this pulley was both functional and aesthetic. It eased the movements of the heddles in separating the warp
threads to allow the shuttle carrying the weft thread to pass through. The pulley also called attention to the skills of the sculptor who carved it,
advertising his availability to undertake commissions to carve other figurative art, such as masks or shrine figures.
Baule figural heddle pulley in my collection
wearing a Bo Nun Amuin mask
8 inches tall
Examples below for reference purposes
Heddle pulley; Baule, Ivory Coast.
This heddle pulley shows a Baule man wearing a helmet mask. Such
masks have the horns of dangerous buffaloes, the jaws of crocodiles
and the faces and scarifications of humans — because they bring
the power of the wild to bear on human problems.

Wood, 7 in.
Donald Morris Gallery. Photo: Dirk Bakker.
From the book: Animals in African Art
An example of a Baule bo nun amuin mask that is shown on the heddle pulley.

This example is in the collection of the Museum for African Art, NY

This mask, named the albino, incarnates a bo nun amuin "god of the bush" or amuin yasua, or
"men's god". This animal head is imaginary, combining elements from different animals,
considered fearsome. It was kept in a forest sanctuary outside the village. It is danced to
protect the village against threats, to discipline women, and at the funerals of former dancers
and important men.

Source: Museum for African Art
Another example of a Baule bo nun amuin mask that is in the collection of the
American Museum of Natural History in NY

MASK [90.2/ 7661]
AFRICAN ETHNOGRAPHIC COLLECTION
Culture: BAULE  
Country: IVORY COAST
Material: WOOD,METAL(COPPER,IRON),PIGMENT
Dimensions: W:24 H:53 D:22 [in CM]
Heddle pulley

Undetermined peoples
Northeastern region, Côte d'Ivoire
Mid 20th century
Wood
Hx W x D: 18.2 x 6.1 x 6.3 cm (7 3/16
x 2 3/8 x 2 1/2 in.)
Bequest of Eliot Elisofon
73-7-140

This object is in the collection of the
National Museum for African Art
Heddle pulley

Baule peoples
Côte d'Ivoire
Early-mid 20th century
Wood, iron, plant fiber
H x W x D: 22.5 x 6.6 x 5.5 cm (8 7/8 x 2
5/8 x 2 3/16 in.)
Purchased with funds provided by the
Smithsonian Collections Acquisition
Program
96-7-1

This object is in the collection of the
National Museum for African Art
Heddle pulley

Guro peoples
Côte d'Ivoire
Mid 20th century
Wood
H x W x D: 19.7 x 7.7 x 6.2 cm (7 3/4 x 3 1/16
x 2 7/16 in.)
Bequest of Samuel Rubin
79-16-31

This object is in the collection of the
National Museum for African Art
Image showing Bamana weavers using heddle pulleys from the book:
African Mud Cloth by Pascal James Imperato