African Tribal Art TABWA MASK

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Seller: my-african-beauty ✉️ (851) 93.3%, Location: Chichester, GB, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 175686093339 African Tribal Art TABWA MASK. Country/Region of Manufacture: Congo Culture: African Title African art tribal, Tabwa Mask from Democratic Republic of Congo Type of Object Mask of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo People Tabwa Materials Wood Approximate size 43cm - 17 inches 19cm - 7.5 inches Wide TRIBAL AFRICAN ART TABWA (BATABWA, TAABWA) Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia The Tabwa people lived under Luba domination in small autonomous villages scattered within a territory that expanded from the southeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the northeast of Zambia, along Lake Tanganyika. The verb "tabwa" means "to be tied up" and refers to when these people were taken as slaves. During the 19th century, the ivory trade brought wealth to the region and Tabwa people gained their independence. Today, they number 200,000 and are led by chiefs-sorcerers who rule over village chiefs and family chiefs. Their power is counterbalanced by male societies created on Luba prototypes and by female associations influenced by East African models. Traditionally, Tabwa people made their living from hunting and blacksmithing; nowadays they cultivate millet, manioc, cassava, beans, and corn, but they live primarily off fishing and hunting, for game is plentiful. The influence of Eastern Tanzanian neighbors on Tabwa art is seen in their use of linear geometric decorations, while their western neighbors, the Luba, influenced the incorporation of prestige objects into Tabwa life. The Tabwa worshipped ancestors, whose statues were the property of the lineage chiefs and sorcerers; these carried “medications” in their ears or in small cavities at the top of their heads. The Tabwa also worshipped the spirits of nature, who lived in trees and rocks. The installation of a supreme chief is of relatively recent vintage; formerly it was the function of the large ancestor figures to consolidate the power of the chiefs. Other statuettes were used for divination. The Tabwa also made twin figures that could be both dangerous and bearers of good luck. In the north of Tabwa country, the diviner was also a sculptor; consulted after a dream, he would create a new statue. Special attention was paid to scarifications, which embellish the body and recall social values. On the whole surface of the body, a recurrent motif consists of twinned isosceles triangles, the two bases of which symbolize the duality of life. They evoke the coming of the new moon, essential to Tabwa philosophy, whose return would be celebrated monthly. The Tabwa used two types of masks: a human one, which represented woman, and another in the form of a buffalo head, which represented man. Both would make an appearance at the time of the fecundity ritual, celebrated for sterile women. One also finds paddles, combs, and musical instruments with figurines. Location: Southeastern Congo (Zaire) Population: 200,000 Language: Kitabwa (Bantu) Neighboring Peoples: Luba , Bemba, Lunda Types of Art: Tabwa carvers produce many beautiful utilitarian objects such as combs, drums, and bellows, but also produce sculpted figures representing ancestors and twin figures. Although a few masks exist in collections, very little is known about them. History: The peoples who currently identify themselves as Tabwa were once a series of smaller villages with different histories. Tabwa identity today is largely an artifact of colonial administration. Most Tabwa migrated to this area from east central Africa looking for fertile land or to escape warfare. They settled along the shores of Lake Tanganyika and incorporated many of the customs they encountered from their new neighbors, the Luba, into their own way of life. Economy: Before colonial times, salt, iron, and smoked river fish were important items that could be traded on the regional markets. Cash crops, such as potatoes, wheat, and onions were produced for the colonial market. The 1970s brought about the collapse of the infrastructure of roads which had allowed the Tabwa to supply food to the copper mines throughout the region. Farmers grow cassava, beans, and maize for local consumption, and Tabwa fishermen compete with the industrial fishing companies on Lakes Tanganyika and Mweru, using traditional lines and nets. Hunting was at one time very important to the Tabwa, but as game resources decrease, there are fewer people who hunt as a way of life. Political Systems: In the past individual Tabwa villages often acted autonomously. The villages are headed by chiefs who inherit their positions matrilinearly, and who justify their power by tracing their descent back to the original founders of Tabwa society. This is often done through the collection and display of ancestor figures which represent the chief's familial lines. Within Tabwa communities, the chiefs symbolically represent the continuity of the universe, and at the same time illustrate the position of man within the universe. Leaders often wield staffs or batons which identify them as chiefs. Religion: The Tabwa have developed a system of religion honoring the ancestors. Similarly to the Luba, the Tabwa have utilized this system in a way which benefits the traditional leaders, who use the remembered power of their ancestors to explain their current power. Ancestors are embodied in figural sculptures known as mikisi, which are carved by religious specialists, anointed with clay, and given offerings of food during the new moon, a time which is of great importance to the Tabwa. The new moon is represented by the triangle in Tabwa iconography and symbolizes rebirth and the continuity of life. Track Page Views With Auctiva's Counter

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