African art > Terracotta, jar, amphora, funerary urn > Lobi pottery
Lobi/Birifor Pottery (N° 20599)
This hemispherical container, a jar equipped with a neck, is said to fall into the category of "bulabir", which become sacred after the death of their owner (Daniela Bologno).
The populations of the same cultural region, grouped under the name "lobi", form one fifth of the inhabitants of Burkina Faso. They are not very numerous in Ghana and have also settled in the north of the Ivory Coast. It was at the end of the 18th century that the Lobi, coming from northern Ghana, settled among the indigenous Thuna and Puguli, the Dagara, the Dian, the Gan and the Birifor. The Lobi believe in a creator God named Thangba Thu, to whom they turn through the worship of numerous intermediate spirits, the Thil, who are supposed to protect them, with the help of the diviner, against a host of plagues. The geniuses of the bush, red-haired beings called Kontuor, are also supposed to help them. To communicate with men, the different Thils ask for bateba sculptures in order to incarnate themselves. Different sacred altars are erected around the Lobi houses. The sanctuary of the family house is called the Thildu, where tribal sculptures of wood, iron or brass, statues of ancestors, sacred pottery and batebas are grouped together.
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