221237 - Antique Lobi Terracotta Sculpture with large feet - Burkina Faso


A Lobi Terracotta Sculpture with enormous large feet, one leg was broken; traces of a kaolin sacrification patina.

Hand carved from terracotta.

Size: 26 cm long. 

This Lobi Terracotta Sculpture was collected between 1950 and 1960 and ended up in my private collection in 1997.
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.