The Lobi people are an ethnic group that primarily resides in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Ivory Coast in West Africa. They are known for their unique artistic and craft traditions, especially their wood-carving skills.
Wood is considered a sacred material among the Lobi people, and it plays an important role in their artistic and spiritual traditions. The Lobi people believe that wood has a spirit or life force and that it can be used to connect with the spiritual world.
Lobi wooden sculptures are typically carved from a single piece of wood, with the grain of the wood used to accentuate the contours of the figure. The figures are often highly stylized, with elongated limbs and exaggerated features. They are decorated with intricate patterns and designs that are often symbolic of the Lobi people's animist beliefs.
One of the most common types of Lobi-carved wooden sculptures is the Bateba figure. These figures are believed to represent the spirits of ancestors and are often used in ancestor worship. They are typically depicted with their arms outstretched and their faces turned upwards as if reaching toward the spiritual world.
Another common type of Lobi wooden sculpture is the Thil figure. These figures are used in divination and healing ceremonies and are often decorated with cowrie shells, beads, and other materials. The Thil figure is usually depicted with its arms at its sides and its legs bent at the knees.