Tabwa Mask (CMSK 037)

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The Tabwa are an ethnic group living mainly on the southwestern shores of Lake Tanganyika, and in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.   Today, they 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. 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. This is strongly believed to be a female mask because of the scarifications on the mask’s face huge eye openings and well-sculpted oval-shaped mouth opening, it has a dark patina and was carved with great sensitivity, shows traces of wear which show that mask was used a few times.

Condition: Good

Material: Light Wood


Origin: Democratic Republic Congo

Additional information

Weight 0.3 kg
Dimensions 4 × 14.5 × 19 cm


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