Tribal art > African Statues > Lobi statue
Lobi Bateba Statue (N° 16525)
Ex Belgian African art collection.
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This anthropomorphic sculpture Bateba was placed on the altar after a ritual in order to become the receptacle of a bush spirit, the Thil, and thereby become an active being, an intermediary in the fight against wizards and all other evil forces. The drips testify to the ritual libations administered. Matt patina.
When honored, these spirits would manifest their benevolence in the form of abundant rains, good health, numerous births; ignored, they would withdraw it and bring devastating epidemics, drought and suffering.
They are represented by wooden or copper sculptures called Bateba (large or small, figurative or abstract, they adopt different attitudes that symbolize the power or special talent that the spirit uses to protect its owners). These figurines are placed on tombs, in a dark corner of the owners' house, along with many other sculptures embodying other spirits because it takes a large number of them to deal with the many threats in rural West Africa.
Source: "Sculptures of the Three Volta" Massa and Lauret .
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