SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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Only incomplete information exists about figures such as this from the Zigua. Typically, Zigua figures are more realistic than those of their neighboring tribes (the Kwere, Shambala, Mbugu, Shamba, Pare, and Chaga), and bear similarities to Sukuma figures. Usually, their legs are splayed, they are decorated with beads, and the wood is well weathered. These pieces are believed to have been used in healing rituals, but they may also represent ancestors. The Zigua (also known as the Zigula, Zegura, Seguha, or Wayombo) live along the Indian Ocean coast of Tanzania, between the sea and the Arusha Steppe in the west. The coastal area is low, well-watered plain, while farther inland to the west the country consists of much drier rolling hills. Although their livelihood is based on the cultivation of sorghum, maize, beans, yams, groundnuts, tobacco, hemp, and coconuts, the Zigua are active traders, and they have for at least a century organized extensive trading expeditions inland. (Ref: Bacquart, ''Tribal Arts of Africa"; Gesellschaft, "Kilengi").) BGAA Inventory No.201675 Background: Zigua tribe diviners were believed to have the power to make medicine bundles (like the red cloth wrapping bound around the neck of this wonderful figure), that gave their ‘possessors’ (i.e. the statue) the ability to diagnose a patient’s illness. In serious cases, the diviner, patient, and the healing statue would travel together deep into the bush to offer libations to the statue, and to expel ghosts from the patient. Fetish figures like this figure with both human and animal characteristics were historically placed in shrines and treated with great respect by the Zigua. The use of fetishes by the Zigua is in fact a vital part of daily village life. Typically, a “remote” object such as this fetish will be “activated” by a diviner with the insertion or application of fetish material or in the hole on the figure, and then used as a channel for the spirits, and thus an intermediary for change. This piece has evidence of age, handling, and encrustation from the passage of time and applied materials and may date to the late 19th century.
Provenance and Age:
Berz Gallery of African Art acquired this figure from James Stephenson, New York, in 2016, whose certificate is included with this piece. A physical analysis of the piece shows extensive signs of handling and age. The patina on this piece is characteristic of antique Zigua figures, with chipping surface pigment and shrine materials. Our experience with objects of this type and an analysis of the surface leads us to assert that the piece dates to the earliest part of the 20th century.
|Lot ID: 128|
|Low Estimate: $1,500|
|High Estimate: $3,000|
|Next Bid: $950|
|Sale ID: 6|
|Sale Date: July 28, 2016|
|Sale Location: Virtual Auction|
|Sale Sponsor: African Artworks from Berz Gallery of African Art|
|Sale Terms: View here|
|Live Bidding Link: SALE CLOSED|
|Location of Origin: Africa|
|Medium/Materials: wood, stain, dense encrustation, textile, magical materials inside pouch|
|Dimensions: 8.75" (22.22cm) height|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Tanzania|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Statue|
|Expertise: “Art Makonde: Tradition et Modernité”; Thompson, “Shambaa Ughanga: Converging Presences in the Embodiment of Tradition, Transformation and Redefinition”; United Nations Environment Programme, “Traditional Medical Practices in Tanzania, Bacquart, ''Tribal Arts of Africa"; Gesellschaft, "Kilengi"|
|Provenance: Ex. Private London Collection|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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