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Very beautiful representation of a Tshokwe woman.
She is shown standing in front, camped on semi-flexed legs, short but powerful and resting on a circular base. The arms detached from the body are bent at right angles, the hands coming to position themselves flat above the navel. Ritual scarifications signified by three incisions are present on the body, at the level of the pubis and above each breast. The face is characterized by a high, open forehead in the fashion of shaving the hair above the forehead to accentuate the length thus offering an elaborate hairstyle in the form of a helmet. Two large, half-closed coffee bean eyes fit into wide sockets, giving an expression of great interiority. The curved prognathic mouth sits above a thin tapering chin. The ears are detached from the face, scarifications symbolized by three lines are found under the cheekbones, two rows of deep notches at the temples completing the body scarifications.
The Tshokwe (Chokwe) are a Bantu ethnic group and inhabit a vast region of savannahs of 150,000 km2 in the northeast of Angola, in Kasai and in the extreme southwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A people of farmers and hunters, their population is estimated at around 500,000 individuals. Their history is similar to that of the Lunda whose territory they conquered at the end of the 19th century. The Tshokwe dynasty would come from the union of the founding hero Tshibinda Ilunga with a princess from the Luba-Landa ethnic group. Tshokwe art is characterized by its great diversity: very beautiful masks in wood, fibers or resin, scepters decorated with figures of chiefs, carved seats as well as small objects such as whistles, and an abundant statuary representing chiefs or their wives.
Without base: 37 x 12 cm
Condition: Beautiful patina, small xylophagous holes to report
Provenance: Former private collection
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|Location||38090, Villefontaine, France|