African art > Statues > Tabwa statue
Tabwa figure (N° 17798)
The Tabwa ('scarifier' and 'write') are an ethnic group present in the south-east of the DRC, around Lake Tanganyika. The tribes of this region, such as the Tumbwe , worship the ancestors mipasi through sculptures held by chiefs or sorcerers. A magical charge (dawa) was introduced to the top of the head of the statues. Soothsayers used such objects to expose witchcraft and protect against evil spirits.
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Simples farmers without centralized power, the Tabwa united around tribal leaders after being influenced by the Luba. It was mainly during this period that their artistic current was expressed mainly through statues but also through masks. The Tabwa worshipped ancestors and dedicated some of their statues to them. Animists, their beliefs are rooted around 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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