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

Tabwa statue (N° 23031)

This type of symbolic sculpture was used during enthronement rites. Grainy, velvety black patina. Desication cracks.
The Tabwa ("scarify" and "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, worship the mipasi ancestors through sculptures held by chiefs or sorcerers. A magical charge (dawa) was frequently placed on top of the statues' heads. Soothsayers-healers used this type of object to reveal witchcraft and protect against malevolent spirits. .
Simple farmers without 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 it. Animists, 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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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyTabwa
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm70
Width20 cm
Weight2.00 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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