Old Lobi Figure of Healing and Protection – Bateba Bambar – Burkina Faso


Hardwood. Cm. 25,7 high (10.12″); cm. 26,5 on the stand (10.43″). Grams 304,8 (10.75″ oz).

Figures depicting a seated man or woman with their legs stretched out in front of them are called Bamgbar/Bambar. Their main function of this Bateba is to protect the elderly and children from diseases and in particular from paralysis.

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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Weight450 g