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

Tschokwe figure (N° 23103)

This female figure of the Chokwe type, generally associated with the therapeutic cult of the Hamba type, would embody a female ancestor believed to guarantee fertility or healing. These statues were arranged around the muyombo altar, a tree at the foot of which sacrifices and offerings were once made. Sculptures such as figures made from sticks or poles (Mbunji or mbanji), planted in the ground, were also featured. The related ethnic groups had this same type of altar, a witness before which rituals, oaths and important transactions were concluded.
Glossy dark patina.
Source: "Chokwe", B. Wastiau; "Chokwe and their Bantu Neighbors" ed.J. David and G. Merzeder. Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwe were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacredness of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwe never fully adopted these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, the Chokwe eventually took over the capital of the Lunda, which had been weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwe did not have a centralized power but rather large chiefdoms. It was these chieftainships that attracted artists who wished to put their skills at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied pieces of such quality that the Lunda court only employed them. Source: "Chokwe", B. Wastiau; "Chokwe and their Bantu Neighbours" ed.J. David and G. Merzeder.  

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Originex-collection belge
EthnyChokwe
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm30
Width6 cm
Weight0.28 Kg

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