"Important Fetish Bateba Ti Puo, Burkina Faso, Mid 20th Century"Origin: Burkina faso
Presumed antiquity: Second half of the 20th century
Material: Wood, chicken feathers
Off base: 32 x 17 cm
Condition: Localized erosion, slightly crusty patina, xylophagous holes
Provenance: Old private collection
Imposing male representation of a Bateba Ti Puo fetish with old traces of libations. He is represented frontally, decked out in a long body and adorned with one arm, his fist raised to the sky. The absence of lower limbs and erosion adjacent to the base of the subject indicate that it should be planted on the ground. The face is hidden under a large crusty patina and suggests two circular eyes overlooking a flat nose and a mouth ajar. Two large ears are positioned on each side of a skull shaped ogive.
This kind of fetish belonging to the category of Ti Puo or 'dangerous people' were placed in the sacred room of the family altar in order to implore the Thila and to protect against witchcraft and harmful magic. They are represented with one or two arms raised to stop any intrusion.