Tribal art > Usual african items > Cordophone Nyamwezi
Cordophone Nyamwezi (N° 13285)
Ex-collection Belgian tribal art.
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Traditional musical instruments in African art
Strings are absent on this thin wooden sculpture with an anthropomorphic handle, which was a cordophone, known as a bowl-shaped zither. The strings were tied at the holes at each end and stretched along the hollowed out surface of the sounding box. The orbits of the figure at the top are hollow, and round beads were frequently inserted into them.
The Nyamwezi , Nyamézi ,(" the people of the west " and sometimes " the people of the moon ") 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 presents consequently very different formal aspects. The cult of ancestors and chiefs, of major importance within their culture, has left its mark on their statuary. The Sukuma and the Nyamézi have produced statues represented in a static position, some of which, with filiform limbs, evoke the artistic creations of Alberto Giacometti, while the masks of the region, for their part, have summary features and a gaping mouth with teeth.
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|Origin||Ex. collection d'art primitif Mercier|
|Estimated dating||début xxe|
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