Tabwa Male Figure - Wood - Congo DRC, 13" tall
Priced in Mexican Pesos. This piece was made for trade, not an authentic piece from the group or tribe mentioned herein.. This elegant male figure is from the Lake Tanganyika region of southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo and depicts a respected ancestor or a Tabwa ruler. This Tabwa figure, like most other works of this genre, are usually nude except for strands of beads around their necks, wrists, ankles, and, on the female figure, the waist. Period sources tell us that Tabwa individuals generally wore very few articles of clothing, but that beaded belts were commonly worn by both men and women, and acted as markers of kinship. When an elder died, his or her belt was passed down to a younger relative, maintaining ancestral continuity and family identity. In the context of these sculptures, such belts were vital signs of lineage that reinforced links to previous generations of rulers. This piece is not from the 19th C. and does not come with strands of beads. It measures 13" tall. The wood has dried and split on one side of the body, see my photos.
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