Lobi couple. Wood, height 13 1/2". Ancient insect damage to the surface in several places, now well patinated with a thick, accumulated sacrificial patina. The iconography of these Lobi couples, joined back to back, comes from a ceremony practiced by the Lobi, Gurunsi, and several neighboring ethnic groups. While small marital disputes are considered private affairs, large or violent disagreements within a couple are considered a concern of the entire village as they risk disruption the harmony of the community as a whole. If a couple is then having such a serious fight, the local healer/shaman will make a consecrated circle on the ground. Next the couple will be consecrated, and they step into the circle, back to back. They then shout out, at the top of their lungs, everything that is infuriating them about the other, the idea being that the insults will travel around the globe and come full circle to the face of the other, but now, due to the circumnavigation of the Earth, at a safe distance. Once the emotions are exhausted, the couple will then discuss the issues to find a solution and regain harmony, and the statue is carved as a reminder and benediction, based on the ceremony, to which libations are offered.