210435 - Authentic Antique Lobi couple statue - Burkina Faso
Authentic Antique Lobi couple statue - Burkina Faso
Hand carved from a single piece of wood and collected in the 1960s
Size: 30 and 27 cm long.
The Lobi belong to an ethnic group that originated in what is today Ghana. Starting around 1770, many Lobi peoples migrated into southern Burkina Faso and later into Côte d'Ivoire. The group consists of around 180,000 people. Lobiri is the name of the language spoken by the Lobi people.
The name Lobi originates from two Lobiri words: lou (forest) and bi (children), meaning literally, "children of the forest". The Mouhoun River (also known as the Black Volta) is important to Lobi peoples for many reasons. In terms of migration history, it marks an escape from slave raiders in present-day Ghana. In myth, it symbolizes a dividing line between this world and the next. The Lobi crossed the Mounhoun centuries ago from east to west and settled in the lands and brought with them deep animist beliefs and superstition. According to Lobi legend, the spirits of the deceased must return across the river to rejoin their honorable ancestors in the ancient world.
Lobi woodcarvers do not crave for making money and it has a ritual practice view of the art. Wood carvers see making craving as needing to have a purpose. These leads from the idea that wood carving viewed as a dangerous act and need to have a ritual to protect against hostile spirits that can be angered during the cutting of the trees. Some of the variations in Lobi sculpture is sculptures that are only a few centimeters tall. While the wood craving is better known of the works created by the Lobi bronze has also been used. Some of the uses of bronze include pendants of animals and figures, bells, and some bracelets and anklets.