Karna Ouattara

Kule carver, c. 1928–1992
Nafoun, Côte d‘Ivoire

Karna Ouattara was a Kule carver in Nafoun. He learned carving from his extended kinship "elder brother" Miemmouhou Ouattara in Nafoun. His son Klana Ouattara (1955– ) also carved masks and sculptures in Nafoun.

Between 1975 and 1978 Karna Ouattara sculpted a figure and a heddle pulley to document his individual style.

Karna Ouattara carving a helmet mask in his workplace. Photo: Karl-Heinz Krieg, Nafoun (Region of Boundiali, Côte d'Ivoire), 1975

His son Klana Ouattara (1955– ) with a newly carved helmet mask. Photo: Karl-Heinz Krieg, Nafoun (Region of Boundiali, Côte d'Ivoire), 1975

For the special red-black color that a figure was decorated with it was first covered with a red pigment made from a tree root. After the figure had dried the sculpted details such as the lips, hands and bracelets were covered with shea-nut butter. To complete the coloring of the sculpture the entire figure was covered with mud and organic materials from the bottom of a stream to give it a black color and those details previously covered with shea-nut butter were now prominent because of their red tint. 

OBJECTS BY Karna Ouattara

Female figure
Karna Ouattara
Nafoun (Region of Boundiali, Côte d'Ivoire)
Carved for Karl-Heinz Krieg in 1975
Wood, H. 26 cm



Private notes taken in the field, Karl-Heinz Krieg

Text: Helen Krieg and Daniel Mato, PhD