This wood sculpture was created to guard against sorcery, evil and illness. Its role was a protective one and it was most likely placed on or around an altar as part of a group of various 'bateba' figures. The precise meaning of each figure's shape and posture will never be known, since these carvings were created as the result of a seers vision for an afflicted individual who was suffering a particular malady. Grey-brown, slightly encrusted, sacrificial patina, overall. The lower legs and feet have been lost from insect and moisture damage; there is old loss on the outer edge of the left breast. Otherwise, the figure is in fine condition.
19.25" high x 3.75" wide. Early-mid 20th century, from the West African country of Burkina Faso.