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Rare Fertility Figures Nyamezi

P R O V E N A N C E: Important old Dutch private collection

High 75 & 67 cm.

Tanzania

Rare Fertility Figures Nyamezi, the pair carved out from dark, heavy wood with a shiny surface. The figures tend to have elongated features with the faces divided into two planes.

The 500 000 Nyamezi people, whose name means either “Men f the West” or “Men of the Moon”, are the largest ethnic group living in central Tanzania. Socially, they are organized into villages which correspond to small chiefdoms and each chief is responsible for the material wealth of the village, while the spiritual welfare is governed by the village sorcerer. The cult of ancestors, which protects each family, plays an important role in the religious life on Nyamezi people.


 

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