The heads below have been sold and are left here for reference and educational purposes.
Photographs © Hamill Gallery
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 depart from the norm with animated gestures, asymmetry
or a great degree of symbolic abstraction. Heads were used similarly
to the figures.
The figures or heads were placed on family altars in the thilda, a small sacristy or room in each dwelling. Each figure or head 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.
GO TO LOBI HEADS PAGE
GO TO LOBI ART PAGE