African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tabwa Mask
Tabwa buffalo mask (N° 19005)
Ex-collection of Belgian African art.
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African Tabwa mask symbolizing power. Polychrome matte patina.
The Tabwa ("to scarify" and "to write") constitute an ethnic group present in the South-East of the DRC, around Lake Tanganyika. The tribes of this region, such as the Tumbwe, worship their ancestors mipasi thanks to sculptures held by chiefs or sorcerers. A magical charge ( dawa ) was introduced at the top of the head of the statues. Healing soothsayers used this type of objects to unveil witchcraft and protect against malevolent spirits.
Simple farmers without centralized power, the Tabwa federated around tribal chiefs after having undergone the influence of the Luba whose beliefs they integrated. It is mainly during this period that their artistic current expressed itself mainly through statues but also masks. The Tabwa practiced the cult of the ancestors to whom they dedicated statues. Animists, their beliefs are anchored around the ngulu, spirits of nature present in plants and rocks.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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