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Maravi Chemba Figure Head Facing Sky Zambia African Art

Regular Price: $490.00

Special Price: $375.00

Product #: 90315
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Title Maravi Chemba Figure Head Facing Sky Zambia African Art
Type of Object Carving
Country of Origin Malawi, Zambia
People Maravi, see also Chemba
Materials Wood, cowry shells
Approximate Age Mid 20th century
Dimensions 17 inches H. with stand x 15 inches H. figure only
Overall Condition poor: Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage. 
Damage/Repair cracks in head, in face, and in torso to the back, large old chips damage at base, chipped foot with toes missing, superficial cracks in places


Additional Information: A rare sculpture coming  from the  Maravi or Chemba. Figures from this people are very rare to find. The figure has the turned head facing the sky, large ears strong triangularly nose and large open mouth very similar to the figures found among the Chemba.  The short arms and a head facing the sky make this piece exceptional. This figure is probably a representation of a female figure  base on the volume of its breasts. The patina shows much handling and good age. An interesting piece indeed!


The Chemba and other peoples from the Maravi group are well-known for their masks used in the Nyau masquerade association. Figures such as this were also used in the initiation rites of young boys and girls  into adulthood. But no details on their function and uses have been reported.They may represent ancestral spirit invoked probably for protection and goodwill. The art from Malawi is less researched and published than Western and Central art.


I have examined this piece and agree with the description

Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.