Historically, Tabwa people lived under Luba domination
across DRC (formerly Zaire) and Zambia, along lake Tanganika.
Their power is counterbalanced by male societies created
on Luba prototypes and by female associations influenced by East African
models. Their single chief is assisted by a council of nobles.
The Tabwa art is influenced by Tanzanian neighbors and
Luba. Tabwa figures display typical face and elongated features.
Tabwa ancestor figures prestige objects role
was to assert the chiefs authority.
|| They measure between 20 cm and 70cm,
shape elongated figures stand on a circular base, with slightly bent legs,
their hands resting on their abdomen and have an elongated neck supporting
a rounded head with often linear scarifications. They were placed on
dedicated shrines, and covered with an oily patina, result of continuous libations.
Janus figures are rather rare carvings and used during inauguration
ceremonies - a reference to enthronement ceremonies.
It also has some Tubwe influence, since the face lack facial
- "A century of Tabwa Art ", Exh. Cat.
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, 1985
- "La sculpture Batabwa", Bernard De Grunne,
- "Tabwa Metaegonmena" Van Geluwe, Huguette,
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Luba- Lion king
Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart
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