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African art > African Dolls > Tabwa doll

Tabwa Mpundu Doll (N° 17741)

Swiss African art collection.

The dolls Mpundu are recognizable by their cylindrical body surmounted by a head whose face is, according to the examples, endowed with little or many scarifications. These dolls are used by members of women's initiation associations. The Tabwa worship twins named bampundu who are supposed to possess magical gifts. Medium orange brown glossy patina.
The Luba dominated the Tabwa in the region along Lake Tanganyika, between Zaire and Zambia. Tabwa or 'be tied up' probably refers to the system of slavery once practiced by Islamic merchants. The Tabwa then regained their independence thanks to the wealth provided by the ivory trade. Just as the influence of the Luba is noticeable in Tabwa societies and rites, Tanzanian tribes have also marked tabwa statuary with regard to geometric decorative motifs. The Tabwa, a simple farmers without centralized power, united around tribal leaders after being influenced by the Luba. The Tabwa worshipped ancestors and dedicated some of their statues to them. Animists, their beliefs are rooted around ngulu, spirits of nature present in plants and rocks.
 

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OriginCollection suisse
EthnyTabwa
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height21
Width4
Weight0.25 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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