Wooden Ancestor Pair
Lobi, Burkina Faso, early 20th c.
PROVENANCE: Collected by Franco Monti, Milan, 1960's.

Domestic ancestral shrines are common in Lobi villages, in Burkina Faso. Heads and figures are regularly displayed in such shrines, representing a particular household's lineage. The figures are commonly referred to as bateba and often come in male-female pairs. This particular pair exhibits many stylistic characteristics associated with the Lobi. The figures are sculpted with straight vertical torsos and heavy legs, which meld into the base of the statue. The arms are carved as part of the body and hard to distinguish. Although weathered, the characteristics of the finely carved face and hair can still be seen. These figures were most likely displayed in a shrine for many years, and as a result exhibits a beautiful deep patina.

Height: both figures 8.25 in. high
IN 9-7-13 / SOLD