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Tribal art > African Statues > Nyamezi statue

Nyamezi statue (N° 22090)

The Nyamwezi, Nyamezi, form the largest group among the tribes living in north central Tanzania. Coming from diverse origins, although sharing the same cultural specificities, their ritual and artistic production consequently presents very different formal aspects. The cult of ancestors and chiefs, of major importance within their culture, marked their statuary. The Sukuma and the Nyamézi produced statues depicted in a static position, some of which, with threadlike limbs, evoke the artistic creations of Alberto Giacometti. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed their territory, the Unyamwézi. They were therefore led to travel from the Congo (R.D.C.) to the coastal cities of the Indian Ocean, where they were called "Nyamwézi", "men of the moon" or "men of the West". Organized in villages headed by chiefs, their spiritual life remained however under the responsibility of the sorcerer.

The asexual character wears a sort of skirt, the eyes are encrusted with pearls, the arms are articulated, the stiff legs with knock-knees end in clogs.
Oiled black patina revealing gilded wood. Signs of use and abrasions.  

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OriginCollection Patrick Malisse
EthnyNyamwezi
CountryTanzanie
Material(s)wood, metal
Height cm71
Width32 cm
Weight2.77 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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