Female Bush Spirit
Baule, mid 19th c.
Wood, glass, gold, steel and feathers (62.47.1)
Gift of Mr. Richard Miller
In African religion, powerful bush spirits inhabit nature beyond the edge of human settlements. They may arbitrarily intervene in the lives of individuals, sometimes possessing a person to the point of madness. Alternately, they may bestow the gift of clairvoyance, which makes the person into an esteemed “trance diviner.” To reestablish order, figures may be carved as intermediaries acknowledging the spirits.
Galleries CLOSED due to current community health concerns
"I still remember the feeling of awe and disbelief when I was alone and walked in the room with those casts." --Ruth Tofle, chair of architecture, winner of the 2013 distinguished faculty award from the MU Alumni Association