Bétise figure, Lobi, Burkina Faso
H: 26 cm (10,2″)
Age: Early 20th century
Provenance: Gallery in Paris 1996
Lobi figures are primarily cult art created for individual, family or village use. They are placed on or next to alters in houses or sanctuaries. Some types of Lobi carvings represent protection against evil, others have more specific functions.
This piece, a depiction of a man and a woman making love (the man is always positioned behind the woman), is the thilbou khe mounkha. The figure is prescribed to single men so that they find a wife or to women to avoid sterility.