African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Tabwa statue

Tabwa Induction Figure (N° 20290)

This type of object, human figures perched on the shoulders of their fellows, is characteristic of sculptures associated with enthronement rites. Brown satin patina. The Tabwa ("scarify" and "write") are an ethnic group found in southeastern DRC, around Lake Tanganyika. Tribes in this region, such as the Tumbwe , worship ancestors mipasi through carvings held by chiefs or witch doctors. A magical charge ( dawa )was frequently inserted atop the statues' heads. The diviners-healers used this type of object to reveal sorcery and protect against malevolent spirits.
Simple farmers without centralized power, the Tabwa federated around tribal chiefs after having been influenced by the Luba. It was mainly during this period that their artistic current was expressed mainly through statues but also masks. The Tabwa practiced ancestor worship and dedicated some of their statues to them. Animists, their beliefs are anchored around the ngulu , nature spirits present in plants and rocks.
Source: "Trésors d'Afrique" ed. Museum of Tervuren.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyTabwa
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal
Height47
Width6
Weight0.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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