The name Nyamwezi means “people from the moon” in Swahili. It is usually taken to be a reference to their homeland in northwest central Tanzania, given to them by the people from the coastal regions of the country. Their elongated and often quite elegant figures may be partially or completely wrapped with leather bands or cloth. In addition to being wrapped, their figures are frequently bound with cords.
This Nyamwezi African art figure, from central Tanzania, are probably related to the ancestor cult. Figures belonging to the Nyamwezi ancestor cult played an important role in protecting the family.
The Nyamwezi people number around 500,000 and are the largest ethnic group living in 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 tribal attribution indicates the origin of the design, not the object.
Dimensions: 65(H) x 25(W) cm.