Photographs © Tim Hamill
These Lobi figures have been vetted as being authentic, some with significant signs of use and age.
Lobi Figures are the enigmatic, brooding sculpture that protect the Lobi people of Burkina Faso. Ranging in size from 7 - 47" high, most are frontal, symmetrical and timeless sentinels expressing the traditional beliefs of the Lobi. Several, such as these couple figures, depart from the norm with animated gestures, asymmetry or a great degree of symbolic abstraction.
Figures like these 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. The collection we have on exhibit is large and varied. Most were frontal and symmetrical, but some have unusually animated gestures.
GO TO LOBI ART PAGE
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GO TO LOBI DAGARI FIGURES PAGE
GO TO LOBI FIGURES ARCHIVES PAGE
GO TO LOBI HEADS PAGE
GO TO FAMILY MATTERS EXHIBITION PAGE
GO TO MATERNITY FIGURES PAGE
GO TO COUPLES PAGE
GO TO AFRICAN FIGURES PAGE
GO TO MASKS AND HEADS PAGE
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