Lobi Female Figure, Burkina Faso
height 15in (38cm)
Alain Lecomte, Paris
Private Collection, New York
"The Lobi people number 250,000 and live across Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast and Ghana. They revere spirits known as Thil. Shrines are built to these spirits under the instruction of a sorcerer and placed either on the roof or inside the home and are filled with objects such as vessels, abstract iron figures, and stone and wood figures known as Bateba, which means they are believed to embody the Thil spirits." (Bacquart, 1998: p 68)
The artist has rendered the right arm and hand connected to the torso, most likely to represent a specific spirit or Thil. The present work is handsomely sculpted with balanced proportions, clear definitions and a detailed facial expression of serenity; a successful rendering intended to invoke piety and a sense of community to the viewer.