These paired statues, one male and one female figure, show a beautiful patina of use to the hard and dense wood. Made by the Lobi Birifor people of Burkina Faso, near the frontier with Ghana, they are a type of wooden carved figure known as ‘Bateba’. Specifically, with their neutral posture and expressions, straight legs and arms, they are ‘Bateba Phuwe’, figures which serve multiple purposes such as protection, wealth and luck to the family which own them.
Almost always made in pairs such as this, and understood as living beings in the animist Lobi worldview, these two graceful statues remain uncommonly intact and together, and would have been placed reverently on a shrine in the house of a Lobi family, where offerings would have assured their protection.
Dimensions: H 21cm, W 5.5cm, D 7cm