Bateba figure - Lobi People - Burkina Faso (#8148)
The 250,000 Lobi are divided among
Ghana, Ivory Coast & Burkina Faso.
Each household leader or Cuor is subordinate to a thila, an invisible protective spirit who communicates
through the intermediary of diviners.
It is the thila who dictates taboos
& who requires the creation of a new
wooden figure for the village or
household shrine. Lobi sculpture
was only discovered in the 1950's.
The Lobi do not use masks but create
figures called bateba & heads
sculpted on top of a post planted in
the ground. These figures, are beings
that are somewhere between spirits
& people & may represent the dead
or bush spirits. Heads surround the
shrines of sacred huts & the bateba
belongs to the thila & carries out their
orders to defend the territory against
evil & to protect their owners from
17" x 5" x 4.5"