African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Nyamwezi Figure
Nyamwezi Figure (N° 22575)
Statuette offering an inclined female bust, which the arms enclose, and disproportionate legs. The amplitude of the ears stands out alongside the blind face. This type of statue, among the wide variety of tribal production in this region, participated in the worship of ancestors, and some played a role in traditional dowsing activities.
Black greasy patina, grainy residue. Abrasions, tiny lacks. br>
The Nyamwézi are made up of tribes of diverse origins making up the largest group in central Tanzania, yet sharing the same cultural traits. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed their Unyamwézi territory. They were therefore led to travel from the Congo (R.D.C.) to the coastal cities of the Indian Ocean, where they were called "Nyamwézi", "men of the moon" or "men of the West". Organized in villages headed by chiefs, their spiritual life remained however under the responsibility of the sorcerer.
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