African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lobi statue
Lobi Bateba statue (N° 20069)
This anthropomorphic sculpture, the Bateba, which is supposed to fight against evil forces, has a head facing to the left, offering a severe physiognomy, frowning eyebrows and a pouting mouth. The body is also slightly swaying. The surface reveals the adze strokes. Dull patina, marks of age.
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When honored, these spirits manifest their benevolence in the form of abundant rains, good health, numerous births; Ignored, they withdraw it and bring devastating epidemics, drought and suffering.
These spirits transmit to the diviners the laws that the followers must follow 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 spirit uses to protect its owners). These figurines are placed on tombs, in a dark corner of the owners' house, along with many other sculptures embodying other spirits.
Source: "Sculptures of the Three Volta" Massa and Lauret .
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