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Nyamwezi Pregnant Female on Stand Tanzania African Art

Regular Price: $490.00

Special Price: $195.00

Product #: 99432
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Title Nyamwezi Pregnant Female on Stand 28 Inches Tanzania Africa
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Tanzania
People Nyamwezi (see also Luguru)
Materials Wood,
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 28.25 inches H. x 7.5 inches W. x 5 inches D.
Overall Condition Good. 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 Right foot broken and repaired with nail. Cracks, chips, scuffed and worn patina; see pictures for detail.


Additional Information: A standing female figure with hollow eyes, an exagerated neck and belly.  As for many figures from Tanzania, this figure is difficult to identify with a particular ethnic group. Its morphologic details link it to the Nyamwezi or Luguru. Its use and function are unclear.  It has a thick encrustation and dark, rich patina.  It could have been used in connection with the spirit of ancestors. This is an interesting and good example of Tanzanian sculptures that would be of good addition in any collection. Tanzanian tribal art is less researched and published than Western and Central art. There are still superb pieces coming out of rural areas.


The Luguru people live in the Uluguru mountain. They are approximately 300.000 people. They are farmers and a matrilineal society. Female initiation is among the most important rites de passage that secure the change of status from child to womanhood. Figures such as this have religious functions within the society. 


It is known that before the invasion of Islam and Christianity traditional Nyamwezi worshiped the ancestors. Today a few groups of  Nyamwezi  become Muslim and some other Christians.The Nyamwezi are the largest ethnic group in central Tanzania where they share close ties with the neighboring Sukuma people.  According to oral traditions they settled in west central Tanzania where they presently live sometime during the 1600s.  Called “people of the moon” by their neighbors in Tanzania The Nyamwezi lived in large settlements and later in a number of kingdoms but today live in small dispersed settlements. The Nyamwezi are known for their carving that is at best not embellished, roughly executed and relatively sparsely described in the literature of East African art. They produce numerous expressive masks, elegant figures and interesting puppets. These carvings represent  nature spirits,  ancestors or prominent local people are used in various ritual ceremonies.