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Tabwa Helmet

$6,000.00

Tabwa Helmet

$6,000.00

Wood, pigment, cowrie shells, metal

Origin: West Africa (DRC region)

Interesting facts:  Tabwa masks are rare and this one specifially is represented by the anthropomorphic wooden helmet mask. The category  represents the female ancestor (Musangwe), symbolizing fertility. The name Musangwe is related to promiscuity. Tabwa figural sculptures represent ancestors who were to assist in daily activities and during the hunt. The headdress is decorated with incised diamond shapes and other patterns, scarification patterns around hairstyle line, on the temples and on the cheeks. On its ears hang metal earrings. On its hemmed base, one can see a series of holes of portage allowing to attach to it the habitat of raffia that will surround the dancer, making them completely anonymous during the dance.

The distinctive facial scarification consisting of a number of lines along the sides of the face and along the forehead were the means whereby Tabwa identified themselves to localities and social status. Elaborate and attractive patterns and designs were worked into the skin according to the Tabwa concept of kulemba that reflect aesthetics, social membership and the abstract idea of order upon the chaos of nature. It demonstrates that a person becomes a complete adult when they are properly inscribed with the appropriate scars. These patterns and designs are collectively known as vindala and will represent one’s advancement through life and within Tabwa society.

Category: Tag:

Wood, pigment, cowrie shells, metal

Origin: West Africa (DRC region)

Weight 4 kg
Dimensions 34 × 27 × 27 cm
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