Figure, Bateba

11008602-1994_004_008_Cpa_ARC.tif

Title

Figure, Bateba

Keywords

Carving, effigy, fetish, scultpure

Date

20th Century

Context

West Africa, Burkina Faso
Lobi

Medium/Dimensions

Wood
7 7/16 x 1 7/8 x 1 1/2 in. (18.9 x 4.8 x 3.8 cm)

Object Number

1994.004.008

Description

Lobi individuals consult diviners, called bour, concerning social or physical problems at hand. Bour in turn consult thila, invisible beings that the Lobi creator, Thangba Yu (meaning, "sky above"), assigned to protect humans from hunger, sickness and death caused by their own transgressions of behavioral laws set out by Thangba Yu at the beginning of time.

During a consultation, the bour utilizes a number of objects, including mussel shells, stones, leather bottles containing cowrie shells, bells, red and white limestone for the drawing of symbols on the floor, and miniature figurines (bateba) such as this one, with which to attract the attention of the thila. These figurines are placed before the diviner and his client to witness the rite. The session begins without the bour asking the client the reason for his or her visit. While holding hands with the client, the bour poses a series of questions to which the thila answers "yes" or "no." Answers are indicated by up and down movements of the joined hands.

Once a diagnosis has been made, the client must follow prohibitions, perform sacrifices, and possibly erect a shrine to house large-scale figurative sculptures (bateba).

Credit Line

Ex coll. William S. Arnett

Exhibits/Publications

Divine Intervention: African Art and Religion, Michael C. Carlos Museum, February 5 - December 4, 2011

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2008.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View

No

Citation

“Figure, Bateba,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 22, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7483.

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