Tribal art > African Maternity > Lobi Maternity
Maternity figure Lobi Bateba (N° 17331)
Sitting on a narrow stool, legs parallel, an infant figure carved in bas-relief on the abdomen, this representation of woman to child has a concave head on which are drawn wide eyes below features indicating the hairstyle. This wooden sculpture, the Bateba, was placed on the altar after a ritual to become the receptacle of a spirit of the bush, the Thil, and thus become an active, intermediate being who fights against sorcerers and all other harmful forces. The light wood is tinged with a beautiful semi-crusty, locally abraded dark patina. Long crack of desication running from the head to the bust.
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When they are honored, these spirits show their benevolence in the form of abundant rains, good health, many births; Ignored, they remove it and lead to devastating epidemics, drought and suffering . These spirits pass on to the soothsayers the laws that followers must follow in order to receive their protection They are represented by wooden or copper sculptures called Bateba (large or small, figurative or abstract, they adopt different attitudes that symbolize the particular power or talent that the mind uses to protect its owners). These figurines are placed on the tombs, in a dark corner of the owners' house, along with many other sculptures embodying other spirits because it takes a large number to face the many threats of the rural world of West Africa.
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|Origin||Coll. française G.|
|Estimated dating||1ère halfxx°|
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