The 250,000 Lobi are divided among Ghana,
Ivory Coast & Burkina Faso. Each household leader 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.
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. The bateba belongs to the thila & carries out
their orders to defend the territory against evil & to protect their
owners from harm.
Left foot, and back of right foot are long gone.
Ex. Mebel collection, Ex. Bill Wright Gallery, New York 1991, Ex. Graven Images Ltd., New York, and Ex. Christopher and Genevieve McConnell collection
Height: 10 ¼" x Width: 2 /8" x Depth: 2 ⅝" - Height on the base is 10 ½"