The Baule judged their art by strict criteria
including a smooth finish, the clarity of line, and
a slight inherent asymmetry; clearly this ram
would have been heralded as a masterpiece by
the Baule themselves.
The ram, and in specific the ram’s horns, have
been a potent symbol in world mythology
throughout the ages. Ancient Egyptians
worshipped multiple gods with ram’s heads
including Khnum and the composite deity Amen-
Ra. The Ancient Phoenician deity Ba’al, who was
adopted by the Greeks as Zeus, was often
depicted crowned with the horns of the ram.
Throughout time, spanning across divergent
cultures and civilizations, the ram has been a
traditional symbol of male fertility and the
hearth. The power and majesty of this beast has
been long revered by mankind, and this was
especially true of the Baule tribe who identified
the ram and their tribal symbol.