|Title||Lobi Figure Miniature Four Faces African Art|
|Type of Object||Carving, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Burkina Faso, Ghana|
|Materials||Buffalo horn/antler, pigment|
|Approximate Age||mid 20th century|
|Overall Condition||Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
Additional information: The Lobi people, who live in Burkina Faso and Ghana, revere spirits known as Thil, and build shrines to them, which are filled with figures like this one. These figures, known as Bateba, are believed to embody the Thil spirits. The Bateba are looked upon as living beings charged with special powers who move, fight against witches, and have intercourse with each other. The Lobi believe that the Bateba are superior to humans, but inferior to the Thil spirits, so the Bateba is first activated by putting it in a Thil shrine. The Bateba keep sorcerers away, and help the Thil ward off misfortune. They also play a role in the divination system. (See AFRICAN MASTERPIECES FROM MUNICH-The Stratlisches Museum fur Volkerkunde.) For a superb collection of Lobi figures, see LOBI SKULPTUREN AUS DER KOLLECTION KATSOUROS.