Lot: 114

Standing female figure

D. R. Congo / Tanzania, Tabwa / Ijij

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Piet Lepelaar, Leiden, The Netherlands H: 16.9 inch 7500 EUR / 20000 EUR

wood, rest., base

Roberts and Maurer attributed figures like the present one on the basis of stylistic features to a Tabwa workshop, which they located in Tanzania, on the east side of Lake Tanganyika, in the area of Ujiji. A subgroup of the Tabwa, who became known as the Ijiji, settled here.

A figure of the same workshop illustrated in Roberts & Maurer,1985, p. 79, ill. 55. Another in AHDRC 0042403. The figures show great similarities with regard to the formation and proportioning of the body as well as the band-like scarification patterns. The heads, always slightly upturned, sit on long necks and show the same prominent noses.

The dissemination and adoption of artistic traditions and forms can be traced back to the dynamic political and migratory history of south-eastern Central Africa from the 16th to the 19th century.

The Tabwa are strongly influenced by the neighbouring Luba. From them they have adapted the clan ancestor figures. They often appear in pairs and are kept in special shrines.


Roberts, Allen F. & Evan M. Maurer (ed.), Tabwa, Washington D.C. 1985, p. 79, ill. 55

ADHRC: 0180168