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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
208 W 83rd St NYC
+1 212 579 3596

Standing Bird Figure

Lobi, Burkina Faso
19th-early 20th century

Provenance: Old French collection.
The Lobi people used to carve bateba, wooden figures serving as auxiliary between the humans and the spirits (thila) in a cult dedicated to the earth. Placed in a shrine, this bateba is a protective spirit, granting happiness and fertility to its owner, whom it also protects against witchcraft. The rich patina shows the extensive practice of ritual libations. The bird seems ready to move in a graceful swirl.

Standing Bird Figure

Lobi, Burkina Faso
19th-early 20th century

Provenance: Old French collection.
The Lobi people used to carve bateba, wooden figures serving as auxiliary between the humans and the spirits (thila) in a cult dedicated to the earth. Placed in a shrine, this bateba is a protective spirit, granting happiness and fertility to its owner, whom it also protects against witchcraft. The rich patina shows the extensive practice of ritual libations. The bird seems ready to move in a graceful swirl.