African art > African Statues > Lobi Bateba Statues
Lobi Bateba Statues (N° 12963)
Ex-Belgian African art collection.
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Frontal posture, arms and legs bent, the palms of the hands facing outwards, this feminine Lobi effigy features a naturalistic feature imbued with a meditative and serene expression. This ancient wooden effigy, the Bateba, was placed on the altar after a ritual to become the receptacle of a bush spirit, the Thil, and thus become an active, intermediate being that fights against sorcerers and other evil forces. The piece was visibly eroded to the feet. Fine lines of desication run through the wood, the appearance of which testifies to remnants of ritual libations in the form of grainy residues. Abraded parts reveal the veining of a light wood. When they are honoured, these spirits show their benevolence in the form of heavy rains, good health, numerous births; Ignored, they remove it and lead to devastating epidemics, drought and suffering. These spirits pass on to the soothsayers the laws that followers must follow in order to receive their protection.
They are represented by wooden or copper sculptures called Bateba (large or small, figurative or abstract, they adopt different attitudes that symbolize the particular power or talent that the mind uses to protect its owners). These figurines are placed on the tombs, in a dark corner of the owners' house, with many other sculptures embodying other spirits as it takes many to face the many threats of the rural world of West Africa.
Source: "Sculptures of the Three Volta" Massa and LauretFrom the Guy Mercier tribal art collection, consultant for the Solvay group, which undertook it at the beginning of the 20th century. While radiating in West and Central Africa as part of his work, and collecting in-situ works, the majority of his collection nevertheless comes from \
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|Origin||Ex. collection Mercier|
|Estimated dating||début xxe|
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