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Lobi bronze amulet - Crocodile - Sacred animal Amulet

Lobi bronze amulet - Crocodile - Sacred animal Amulet

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Bronze amulet - Crocodile, single piece

Lobi people, Burkina Faso, West Africa, 20th century, size approx 107mm x 33mm x 19mm.

Symbol meaning

In Burkina Faso and Ghana, crocodiles are highly respected. For example, in the small town of Bazoule, Burkina Faso, people consider the local crocodiles that live in a nearby pond to be sacred animals. They are fed regularly and an annual festival (koom lakre) is organized in their honor , during which the villagers make sacrifices to the crocodiles and ask them for health, prosperity and good harvest luck. The villagers believe that the spirit of the dead villagers is transferred to the crocodiles of the pond. According to local legend, beliefs related to crocodiles date back to the 15th century.

For the Lobes, crocodiles are also sacred animals. 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 lobi literally means "children of the forest". The traditional religion of the Lobi people 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. Lobis 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.

Wax casting (cire perdue in French) or "disappearing wax" is a mold manufacturing method. In it, wax is molded into the model of an amulet or a desired object. A fireproof mold is made from clay around this. The wax model is removed by melting or burning. The empty space created in the mold is filled with bronze. The mold is broken and a completely unique piece is obtained.

Note! Skillfully cast from bronze, the amulets are handmade 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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