A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
The Moba statues can be found at the village entry, North of Togo, but can also be viewed in France till October 3, 2004. photo: Cédric
Joubert- DNA.traces des Moba Togo (en
Between Ghana and Nigeria you find the Moba in the North of Togo. Recently rediscovered for it's artistic qualities, the Moba protective ancestors statuary is characterized, by elongated, eroded, vertical statues.
Without face and only made by a trunck of wood with some very stylized arms and legs, the Moba has a very strong visual expression, that appeals to your imagination.
The Moba tribe is already known since the XVIIth century, but it is only the last 20 years since the Islamisation, that that they where rediscovered for the artistic qualities.
Three different genres of tchitcheri may be distinguished by their patronage, contextual placement, scale, and degree of abstraction. The smallest of these, yendu tchitcheri, are placed in personal shrines, which all adults possess. They do not represent any particular person or ancestor but are considered an individual's direct link with God. Middle-size bawoong tchitcheri (between 25 and 90 centimeters high) are designed for household shrines situated prominently in the vestibule of a family compound. These figures represent recent ancestors, such as the parents or grandparents of current compound leaders (no more than three or four generations removed), whom the diviner advises the family to petition. Because the figures correspond to known ancestors, they are more detailed in representing bodily and facial features.
You can visit an exhibition in France related to them:
Les Mobas, exposition de sculptures jusqu’au 3 octobre à la Cour des Boecklin, 17 rue Nationale à Bischheim (France). Mardi, mercredi, vendredi, samedi et dimanche de 14 h 30 à 18 h 30. Entrée libre. Tél : 03 88 81 49 47.
see also in situ pictures from José Ortega
at : http://www.terra.es/personal8/tamani/
and a Moba description at: http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/oracle/figures39.html
African masks from Known Collections
Free African Art Authenticity Report
Discover the African Art books I like or join me on facebook
African Antiques is the archive and not growing much anymore but still updated.
Visit African Art to join our free newsletter and read recent African Art News.
For the last news about Moba-Togo you should join our African Art Club and become an insider of the African art market.
And if you are a collector of African Art, have a look at our exclusive African Art Collection for sale.
Mail David Norden
Call us at +32 3 227 35 40
Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart
mail David Norden phone +32 3 227.35.40