LOBI DAGARI FIGURE 2, Burkina Faso

 

Photographs © Tim Hamill

LOBI
DAGARI 2
36" high
$2500

This Dagari figure has been vetted as being authentic with significant signs of use and age.

Dagari figures are the most abstract and symbolic of Lobi Figures. They are the enigmatic, brooding sculpture that protect the Dagari subgroup of the Lobi people of Burkina Faso. Ranging in size from 22-36" high, most are frontal, symmetrical and timeless sentinels expressing the traditional beliefs of the Lobi. Several depart from the norm with animated gestures, asymmetry or a great degree of symbolic abstraction.

The figures were placed on family altars in the thilda, a small sacristy or room in each dwelling. Each figure was not a representation but an actual spirit, or tibil thil. It protected the family and home from illness and other misfortunes. The spirit could also be used for divination; it could demand offerings and additions of other figures. The accumulation of statues on a family altar gave social status and were passed on from father to son. Most were frontal and symmetrical, but some have unusually animated gestures.

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