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20th C. African Lobi Wood Female Figure

West Africa, Burkina Faso, Lobi peoples, ca. early to mid 20th century CE. A hand-carved, dark wooden sculpture of a standing, nude human figure with female characteristics who appears to be pregnant. This style of figure is called a "bateba," a traditional doll carved by people - both professional artisan and not - in Lobi society that is believed to act on the behalf of the carver. This example has a roughly cylindrical body, with emphasized limbs, breasts, and stomach; the long neck and oversized head draw the eye of the viewer upward. The face is set below a heavy brow, with large, downcast eyes, a thin nose, and a small mouth set where the chin would normally be. Size: 2.5" W x 12.45" H (6.4 cm x 31.6 cm); 13.85" H (35.2 cm) on included custom stand.

Condition: Light surface wear and patina commensurate with age and handling.

Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection

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