African art > Statues > Lobi statuettes
Lobi Bateba figurines (N° 14535)
African art Lobi.
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This little Bateba statuette, whose gnawed wood has a grainy matte patina, depicts a naked female figure. This type of statuettes were 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. Desication crack in the back.
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 Lauret .
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