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Amulet - Snake

Amulet - Snake

Regular price €45,00
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Amulet - Snake, single piece

Wrought iron, Lobi people, Burkina Faso, West Africa, 20th century, various amulets with lengths ranging from 140mm to 410mm.

Symbol meaning

For the Lobes, the snake symbolizes harmony, connection and unification. In addition to the Lobi, many other African nations consider snakes as sacred creatures. It is forbidden to kill or eat them. The creation of the snake's skin is seen as a sign of rebirth. Snakes are considered the first, prehistoric animals and often appear in creation stories, myths and mythologies. Snakes were considered to act as messengers between the visible and invisible worlds. The Lobi are a people living in Burkina Faso, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The name of the people "Lobi" comes from the Lobir language words "lou" (forest) and "bi" (child), so the word lobi literally means "children of the forest". The Lobies' traditional religion is strongly based on an animistic worldview. The Lobis believe that the universe was created by a higher god figure (tangba or thangba yu), under which a number of different gods rule (singular thil, plural thila). Below this are other important nature spirits, such as the bush spirits (kontuossi or contoursi) and the people who come only after this.

The Mouhoun River (also Black Volta) flowing through Burkina Faso has been very important to Lobe in many ways. In Lobian mythology, it has symbolized a magical border that separates two different dimensions, in the same way that the ancient Greeks saw the river Styx. The Lobs believe that the dead must cross the river back to the "other side" where revered ancestors await. The most important initiation rites are performed on the banks of the Mouhoun River, and the fish and animals living in the river are considered sacred.

Ritual use

Amulets depicting a snake have been used, for example, to protect against snake bites and lightning strikes. In Burkina Faso and Ghana, especially among the Lobi and Gan peoples, the snake has been a common subject in traditional art. Amulets cut and forged from iron or cast from bronze, spiral bracelets and anklets, various wooden ceremonial sculptures and currencies often depict the snake. In home and village sanctuaries, these abstract, flat, iron-forged snakes serve as a point of contact between the living and the dead on altars. They were used to honor the gods of the earth (thil) and to connect with the invisible world.

Note! Skillfully hand-forged amulets are handcrafted and have been used diligently, j so each of them is its own unique individual. Because of this, colors and shapes may vary. Amulets may be dusty, patinated and may have small surface defects. 

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