Fine Lobi Amulet – Chameleon – Burkina Faso
20th century. Bronze. Cm. 5,5 high x cm. 7,9 width (2.17″ x 3.11″); Gr. 34,6 (1.22 oz.).
Due to its physically mutating nature and adaptability, the Chameleon is a symbol of wisdom.
The Lobi are an ethnic group that originated in what is today Ghana. Starting around 1770 many of the Lobi migrated into southern Burkina Faso and later into Côte d’Ivoire.
The name Lobi originates from two Lobiri words lou (meaning forest) and bi (meaning children), literally “Children of the forest” who settled initially on the left bank of the Mouhoun River or the Black Volta dividing Burkina and Ghana who ventured into Burkina Faso.
The Mouhoun is important in Lobi myth and symbolizes a dividing line between this world and the next, similar to the River Styx of Roman mythology. The Lobi crossed the Mounhoun centuries ago from east to west and settled in the lands and brought with them deep animist beliefs and superstition. According to Lobi legend, the spirits of the deceased must return across the river to rejoin their honorable ancestors in the ancient world. The banks of the Mounhoun are used in initiation rites and fish and animals in the river are considered sacred.
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