African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tabwa Mask

Tabwa Mask (N° 24295)

Bulky African mask of the Tabwas referring to a hero of mythology, symbolizing besides an ambivalent character, also a principle of power. Careful inlays of metal leaf and cowries enhance the toothed mouth, the dilated nostrils and the structure of the head. Black satin patina, small accidents.
The Tabwa ("scarify" and "write") constitute an ethnic group present in the South-East of the DRC, around Lake Tanganyika. Animists, their beliefs are anchored around the ngulu, spirits of nature present in plants and rocks. The tribes of this region, such as the Tumbwe, worship the Mipasi ancestors through sculptures held by chiefs or sorcerers. A magic charge ( dawa) was introduced at the top of the head of the statues. Soothsayers-healers used this type of object to reveal witchcraft and protect against malevolent spirits.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal, cauris, plant fibre
Height cm24
Depth37 cm
Width60 cm
Weight2.80 Kg

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