African art > Spoon > Ceremonial spoon Tabwa
Ceremonial spoon Tabwa (N° 10956)
Ex Belgian private collection of African art Jan Putteneers.
Anthropomorphic spoons are recurrent in African art. This one is distinguished by the quality and the fineness of its sculpture. We find the typical headdress pulled back and long. The heart-shaped face is slightly reminiscent of that of some Fang.
The Tabwa are an ethnic group present in the southeast of the DRC. Simple farmers without centralized power, they federated around tribal chiefs after being influenced by the Luba. It is during this period that their artistic current expressed itself mainly through statues but also masks.
The Tabwa practiced ancestor worship and dedicated some of their statues to it. Animist, their beliefs are anchored around ngulu, spirit of nature present in plants and rocks.