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
and 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 and heads
sculpted on top of a post planted in
the ground. These figures, are beings
that are somewhere between spirits
and people and may represent the dead
or bush spirits. Heads surround the
shrines of sacred huts and the bateba
belongs to the thila and carries out their
orders to defend the territory against
evil and to protect their owners from
Dimensions: 24" high by 3" wide by 4" deep