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Nyamwezi Miniature Female Custom Base Tanzania Africa

Product #: 127371
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Title Nyamwezi Miniature Female Custom Base Tanzania Africa
Type of Object Figure
Country of Origin Tanzania
People Unknown
Materials Wood and stain
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 7 Inches
Width: 1.5 Inches
Depth: 1.5 Inches
with stand 9 inches tall
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 chip on eye

Additional Information: A unique offering from the Nyamwezi of Tanzania, this abstracted miniature has discernible Nyamwezi features.  The small round eyes and hands-on-hips pose are a sure sign of a talented Nyamwezi carver.  Cut from a dense and heavy wood, this miniature has a rich patina that indicates significant age and possible use.

The Nyamwezi people 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. 

Recommended reading:

Abrahams, R. G. (1967). The Peoples of Greater Unyamwezi, Tanzania. International African Institute

Iliffe, John (1979). A Modern History of Tanganyika. Cambridge University Press