Old Fine Moba Shrine Figure – Bawoong Tchitcheri – Togoamazigh
Mid 20th century. Wood, cm. 72,0 high (28.35″).
The figure is mounted on a black iron stand which is included in the sale. Good condition.
The Moba are based in the north of Togo, on the border with Burkina Faso. They are known for their strong minimalist, abstract Tchitchiri figures.
The Tchitcheri can only be fashioned by the individuals whose fathers are soothsayers. Shaping Tchitcheri is considered a delicate and very dangerous operation. For this reason, only diviners give their sons the special protection required for the creation of such statues. Those who transgress this law are supposed to risk blindness or madness.
There are 3 main types of Tchitcheri: the smallest Tchitcheri Yendu, are placed in the tombs. They do not represent any particular person or ancestor but are the direct link of an individual with the deity. The medium-sized Bawoong Tchitcheri (between 25 and 90 cm high) are designed for family shrine. They represent recent ancestors. Finally, the Tchitcheri Sakwa, larger than a meter, evoke the memory of the founder of a clan.