For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
For additional detail, click on any photo below to see the higher resolution version of the image.
Moba bawoong tchitcheri figure, northeastern Ghana and northwestern Togo
22" tall
ex private collection - US
wood, pigment


SOLD


"Three different genres of tchitcheri may be distinguished by their patronage, contextual placement, scale, and degree of
abstraction. The smallest of these, yendu tchitcheri, are placed in personal shrines, which all adults possess. They do not
represent any particular person or ancestor but are considered an individual's direct link with God. Middle-size bawoong
tchitcheri (between 10"-35" high) are designed for household shrines situated prominently in the vestibule of a family compound.
These figures represent recent ancestors, such as the parents or grandparents of current compound leaders (no more than three
or four generations removed), whom the diviner advises the family to petition. Because the figures correspond to known
ancestors, they are more detailed in representing bodily and facial features.

Large figures are referred to as tchitcheri sakwa, which evoke and are named after a clan's founding member. The Moba are
subsistence agriculturalists, and rituals are conducted before planting and harvest by the family's eldest male member, who
applies libations to its sakwa commemorating the founding ancestor. Stylistically, sakwa fall between the extremely abbreviated,
faceless, anonymous yendu and the more specifically identifiable bawoong portraits. These monumental works are prominently
placed outside, in the household yard. Although the features of a family's sakwa become abraded by the elements, it stands
from one generation to the next as an indelible marker of its spiritual life." Information from the Metropolitan Museum of Art