Lobi Figure
Burkina Faso
Early 20th century
Provenance: Private NYC Collection
The Lobi specialized in carving figurines of hard wood called bateba. Although they do not specifically symbolized ancestors, they do assume a status somewhere between living and supernatural beings. Figures can be kept in shrines to ward of disease or witchcraft. This example's facial expression manifests dignity and calm, suggesting a detachment from the living world. Its features are geometric and abstract, with eyes in the shape of cowry shells. The figure stands rigidly, with arms alongside its body. Its profile beautifully emphasizes the curvatures of the human body.
H: 10 1/2 in
IN 03-1-15/ SOLD