Tabwa Mpundu fetish doll, DRC ex-Zaire Used... - Lot 135 - Arthema Auction

Lot 135
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Estimation :
150 - 250 EUR
Tabwa Mpundu fetish doll, DRC ex-Zaire Used... - Lot 135 - Arthema Auction
Tabwa Mpundu fetish doll, DRC ex-Zaire Used by the female initiation society, this limbless human figure is endowed with feminine attributes and a protruding navel, with scarifications comparable to those of traditional tribe members. Golden-brown patina 18 x 5 cm The Tabwa ("to scarify" and "to write") are an ethnic group found in southeastern DRC. Simple farmers with no centralized power, they federated around tribal chiefs after coming under the influence of the Luba. It was mainly during this period that their artistic current was expressed through statues and masks. The Tabwa practiced ancestor worship and dedicated some of their statues, called mkisi, to them. Animist, their beliefs are rooted in the ngulu, nature spirits found in plants and rocks. The Luba dominated the Tabwa in the region along Lake Tanganyika, between Zaire and Zambia. "Tabwa" or "to be tied" probably refers to the system of slavery once practiced by Islamic merchants. The Tabwa later regained their independence thanks to the wealth generated by the ivory trade. Just as the influence of the Luba is perceptible in Tabwa societies and rituals, Tanzanian tribes have also left their mark on Tabwa statuary in terms of geometric decorative motifs. The Tabwa also worshipped the Bampundu twins.
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