SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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|Lobi Tribe, Burkina Faso, 1920-1940|
A sweetly-carved, petite magical bateba figure with a subtle expressiveness and geometric/cubist detail, with evidence of shrine use and a smooth patina from years of handling. Bateba figures were believed to be able to provide spiritual assistance to the caretakers of shrines in Burkina Faso if properly cared for. For a long essay with more information see "Expertise".
The photo included of a Lobi shrine is ref Huib Blom, 1999 (Lobi Shrine).
|Lot ID: 7|
|Low Estimate: $500|
|High Estimate: $1,800|
|Next Bid: $300|
|Sale ID: 6|
|Sale Date: July 28, 2016|
|Sale Location: Virtual Auction|
|Sale Sponsor: African Artworks from Berz Gallery of African Art|
|Sale Terms: View here|
|Live Bidding Link: SALE CLOSED|
|Location of Origin: Africa|
|Medium/Materials: wood (one piece), stain, evidence of application of shrine materials|
|Dimensions: 5'' (12.7 cm) height|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Burkina Faso|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Statue|
|Photo source: Huib Bloom, 1999|
In every Lobi house, a small shrine room (thilda) is set apart for the worship of ancestral spirits. Inside the thil du are small figures of ancestors, called bateba, which embody the beneficent thil spirits. These enigmatic, brooding figures protect the Lobi people of Burkina Faso. Each figure was not a representation but an actual spirit, or tibil thil. It protected the family and home from illness and other misfortunes. Because these pieces are very personal, their appearance and gestures vary greatly, and their purpose and meaning is just as diverse. Often, figures will exhibit very subtle gestures, if any at all, for the most powerful figures are believed to be those in “ordinary” posture. Shrines to nature spirits are frequently constructed on the roof of Lobi homes.
The character of the thila is basically human: they have virtues and vices strengths and weaknesses they can be mean forgetful lazy wise responsible or capricious. There are two major types of thila; those that can be found by individuals as chance encounters with the supernatural, and those that can be acquired by one person from another. The former usually appear to people while they are in the wilderness, hunting, gathering firewood, clearing fields, or herding animals. The latter are acquired by people with a specific problem who then acquire access to a thil that has the ability or talent of dealing with that problem. Often the thila that can be acquired are in fact acquired by the entire community, and shrines to them may spread quickly over an entire area.
The thila are controlled by men, thildara. who may possess as many as fifty distinct nature spirits, and who have become famous because they can, for a fee, provide the protection of any of their spirits to strangers. The shrines over which such men preside may include dozens of carved figures in a variety of poses, each ready to deal with a specific concern or threat.
|Provenance: Ex. James Willis, US (original certificate of authenticity and ownership included with purchase)|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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