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

Tabwa figure (N° 22026)

Displaying linear scarifications in checkerboards, this sculpted character also sports a headdress in small diamonds. His posture remains classic, hands symbolically placed on the abdomen, evoking the importance of lineage, transmission, and seat of knowledge. Smooth ocher brown patina.
The Luba dominated the Tabwa in the region along Lake Tanganyika, between Zaire and Zambia. "Tabwa" or "to be tied down" presumably refers to the system of slavery once practiced by Islamic merchants. The Tabwa then regained their independence thanks to the wealth provided by the ivory trade. Just as the influence of the Luba is perceptible in the societies and rites of the Tabwa, the Tanzanian tribes have also marked the Tabwa statuary with regard to geometric decorative motifs.  

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Originrécoltée in-situ 1994
EthnyTabwa
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm30
Width9 cm
Weight0.45 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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