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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Copulating couple

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Copulating couple

20th century

Lobi figures demonstrate what can happen when carving is a household obligation. Anyone could carve a sculpture for thila, supernatural spirits endowed with special powers. This statue showing a couple copulating is probably expected to help a single man in his quest for a wife. No Lobi house was without a small shrine room where such statues waited to provide counseling. They would expect offerings of food in return, and the residue of this has eaten away the surfaces and feet of certain figures.
Height: 17 1/2in. (44.5cm)
Gift of Dr. Oliver E. and Pamela F. Cobb
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Published ReferencesAfo and Andre Guenneguez, Art de la Cote d’Ivoire et de ses voisins: catalogue des objets extraits de la collection Guenneguez, 1990, Paris: Harmattan, page 201, illustrated

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