Old Large Lobi Figure – Bateba Betise – Burkina Faso
Hardwood. Cm. 45,5 high (17.91″); cm. 48,5 on the stand (19.09″). Grams 1.576,0 (55.59″ oz).
Bateba Betise are figures depicting a man and a woman making love (the man always positioned behind the woman); are prescribed for single men so that they find a wife or to women to avoid sterility or wished to have a child.
The Lobi are well documented for their animist beliefs, which involves regular interaction with ancestral and other types of spirits such as Thila.
Thila inhabit a wide range of natural areas and man-made objects, such as bateba, or anthropomorphic shrine figures. They are ambivalent beings that require regular offerings—via sacrifice—in exchange for a wide range of protective and benevolent actions. They are intermediaries with Thangba Yu, the remote Creator God.
Interaction with these spirits commonly takes place in a thilduu (domestic shrine room), dithil (village shrine), and at other places in nature inhabited by spirits.
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