African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Tabwa figure
Tabwa Mipasi figure (N° 19004)
Ex-German African art collection.
African statuette with linear scarifications 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.
Semi-satin orange-brown patina. Desiccation cracks.
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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 sorcerers. Simple cultivators with no centralized power, the Tabwa federated around tribal chiefs after coming under the influence of 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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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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