African art > Statues > Tabwa figure
Tabwa Mipasi figure (N° 19004)
African statuette with linear scarification composed of small checkerboards, and a headdress chiseled with rhombuses. The position is frontal, half bent legs anchored on a circular base, the hands resting on either side of a prominent umbilicus, enhancing the lineage of the ancestor represented.
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Semi-satin orange-brown patina. Cracks of desiccation.
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 , devote a cult to the ancestors mipasi thanks to sculptures held by chiefs or sorcerers. Simple farmers without centralized power, the Tumbwe federated around tribal chiefs after being influenced by the Luba. It is mainly 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 the ngulu , spirits of nature present in plants and rocks.
Source: "Treasures of Africa" ed. Tervuren Museum.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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