The Baoule (Baule) are one of many ethnic groups living in present-day Ivory Coast. The group previously lived in present-day Ghana, but fled to the west during the rise of the Ashanti in the 1600s. According to legend, as the group fled for their lives, they came to an impassable Comoe River. In desperation, Queen Abla Poku sacrificed her son to the river, at which point several hippopotamuses rose from the water and safely carried the people across. This sacrifice is said to be the origin of the group's name - the word "baouli" means "the child has died."
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