The Losso people live in the plane between the northern Defale mountain chain and southern Kabye massifs, in the Doufelgou prefecture of the Kara region in northeastern Togo , see Fig. 1. The district capital Niamtougou is part of their settlement area. Their main neighbors are the Lamba and Kabye in the north and south and the Bassari and Tamberma in the southwest and northeast. The denomination ‘’Losso’’ originated from the Kabye and was adopted by the colonial administration while they call themselves ‘’Naudeba’’  or ‘’Naudemba’’  (or ‘’Nawdba’’ in more recent works). Frobenius however did not differentiate between Losso and Lamba and denominated both ‘’Losso’’ . Maybe his travels across the Losso and Lamba regions were too short, only a few days in January 1909 , to capture the ethnic differences. Nonetheless, he recorded that the languages in Niamtougou and Defale (Lamba region) were different, the former comprising Mossi and the latter Tem elements. This coincides with the later view that – while the Lamba and Kabye are autochthonous and have Tem-related languages – the Losso migrated from northern Mossi-speaking territories, and infiltrated between the Lamba and Kabye at the beginning of the 17th century [1, 2]. Furthermore, in the southwestern region, around Yaka and Agbande, Losso-designated people also live, who however are former Kabye .
|Fig. 1. Maps of Losso region and neighbors, including Lamba and Losso figures at their location of collection acc. to |
Little is known about the sociopolitical organization and cosmology of the Losso ; Frobenius wrote that the human nature and type and form of settlement were the same everywhere, i.e. in the Losso and Lamba regions . He mentioned the role of twins and reincarnation beliefs, which are both typical for this region. Information provided by Amrouche  was mainly acquired in the Lamba region, but then generalized to include Lamba and Losso, mainly based on the frequent intermixing of the two peoples and similar cultural practices, see  about the Lamba.
|Fig. 2 Figures acquired by Amrouche and attributed to the Losso based on the location of collection |
Concerning anthropomorphic representations, Amrouche published more than 150 Lamba and Losso figures in 2008 . He emphasized that normally it is not possible to differentiate between Lamba and Losso figures. For a few of them he knew the collection location and thus attributed them to the Lamba or Losso, see Fig. 2 for the latter and  for the former. However, as can be seen in Fig. 1, none of the figures attributed to the Losso originated from the Losso core region, as indicated by Froelich ; the locations were situated in the transition zones between Losso and Lamba or even in the Lamba region (e.g. Agbassa) or in the southern part where the Losso were former Kabye. He also mentioned the existence of Losso terracotta figures similar to those of the southern Kabye. Regarding the purpose of these figures he did not differentiate between Lamba and Losso and mentioned the use in the cult of twins and bush spirit or ancestor representations, see  for more details. Concerning the typical scarifications exhibited by most of these figures, he emphasized that they are not an indication of ethnic affiliation. Frobenius and Fröhlich already mentioned in this respect that the Losso adopted the scarification designs from the Kabye [3, 1].
Strangely, much earlier, Frobenius had written that no representations of ancestors or amulet applications existed and that the people were poor in terms of formal expressions of their religious life . He only mentioned phallus-like mounds at the entry of each hut-compound (called ‘’funfure’’) on which all the sacrifices were made. In the Frobenius online archive , drawings of about 100 objects are shown (vessels, pipes, knives, hoes, stools, bells, bracelets, etc.), mainly from Niamtougou (Losso) and Defale (Lamba), but none of an anthropomorphic representation. Frobenius however was attentive to figurative works as corresponding drawings from the Kabye region demonstrated. Furthermore, he was accompanied by Kersting  and they were together in Defale on January 18, 1909, where Kersting had already collected three Lamba figures in 1899 according to , see Fig. 1 (left, the three figures with white background). Frobenius’ statement above can thus not be understood.
Compared with the knowledge available about the Lamba, as summarized in , little information about the Losso has thus been published so far and many uncertainties and contradictions still exist. It seems that the Losso adapted to the neighboring Lamba and Kabye and adopted their way of life and cosmology after their immigration, keeping only their different language. The same may therefore apply to their figurative work. The wide stylistic variation across the Lamba and Losso regions remains surprising, varying from highly abstract to more naturalistic expressions. The different styles furthermore seem completely mixed and a smoother transition from the highly abstract style of the northern Moba to the more naturalistic styles of the southern Temba and Tchamba, as it might have been expected, cannot be discerned.
 Froelich, Jean-Claude. Notes sur les Naoudeba du Nord-Togo. Bulletin de l’IFAN, Dakar, Vol. 12, No. 1: 102-121, 1950.
 Froelich, Jean-Claude; Alexandre, Pierre; Cornevin, Robert. Les populations du Nord-Togo. Monographie Ethnologiques Africaines, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1963.
 Frobenius, Leo. Und Afrika sprach, Band 3: Unter den unsträflichen Aethiopen. Vita, Berlin, S. 348-378, 1913.
 Hahn, Hans-Peter. Leo Frobenius' Reise durch Nord-Togo in den Jahren 1908/09: Ethnologische Dokumentation und koloniale Sichtweise. In: Peter Heine u. U. v. d. Heyden (ed.): Studien zur Geschichte des deutschen Kolonialismus in Afrika, Pfaffenweiler: Centaurus, S. 259-279, 1995.
 Amrouche, Pierre. Corps & décors, statuaire Lamba et Losso du Togo. Editions Berggruen, Paris, 2008.
 Keller, Thomas. Research outcome: Statuary from the Lamba region, Northern Ghana-Togo. Blogpost 22.07.2017.
 Frobenius Online Archive, http://bildarchiv.frobenius-katalog.de/.
 Krieger, Kurt. Westafrikanische Plastik I. Museums für Völkerkunde, Berlin, 1965.
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