Tribal art > African Dolls > Tabwa doll
Tabwa fetish doll (N° 16403)
The African tribal art of Tabwa, prestigious objects.
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The Tabwa ("scarifier" and ", write") are an ethnic group in southeastern DRC. Simple farmers without centralized power, they 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 named mkisi . Animists, their beliefs are anchored around the ngulu, nature spirits present in plants and rocks. The Luba dominated the Tabwa in the Lake Tanganyika region between Zaire and Zambia. "Tabwa" or " being attached" presumably refers to the system of slavery practiced in the past 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 noticeable in the societies and rites of the Tabwa, the Tanzanian tribes have also marked the tabwa statuary with regard to geometric decorative motifs. The Tabwa also worshipped the bampundu twins.
Used by the Women's Initiation Society, this limbless sculpture has protruding breasts and navels, scarifications comparable to those, traditional, of the tribe, and has a remarkable patina of honey-colored use.
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