The 250,000 Lobi are divided among Ghana, Ivory Coast & Burkina Faso. Each household leader or Cuor is sub- ordinate to a thila, an invisible pro- tective 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 harm.
Dimensions: 12" H, on a 2" W x 2" D base