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 harm.
This superb figure represents Lobi sculpture at its finest. It has a stately bearing and a beautifully encrusted patina from repeated offerings. Included is a custom-built metal stand.
Figure dimensions: 19" height without stand, and 19 1/4" with stand x 3 1/2" width x 3 1/2" depth
Mounted on a 4" square base.