Protective Figure Bateba

Lobi; Burkina Faso
Late 19th Century/ Early 20th Century

The enigmatic pose and expression on this finely carved diminutive figure draws the viewer into the spirt of the (thil) to seek its deeper meaning.
Lobi figures with outstretched arms are mostly thought of as protective
figures; but the melancholy expression could make this example a “mourning figure” The purpose of “mourning figures” are to absorb the misfortune of the owner and relieve him of his sorrows. Speculation of course; but perhaps this object has the power to do both? The heavy encrusted surface is proof positive it has been sacrificed to for decades. Important to note is the rare hair style on this figure.
This figure stands 5.5" tall

Price: $1,500 / IN 409