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Currently shown

Tchitcheri Sakwa Ancestor Figure

Location

TOGO, NORTHWEST REGION

Culture

Moba or Gurma

Title

Tchitcheri Sakwa Ancestor Figure

Date

20th c.

Materials

Wood

Dimensions

78.5 x 11.5 x 15 cm

Credits

Gift of Gerald Benjamin, inv. 2008.190

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

Tchitcheri sculptures increase the effectiveness of ritual actions to obtain the support of ancestral forces. They are created on the recommendation of a diviner and can only be fashioned by a carver who is the son of a diviner. There are three types of tchitcheri. The smallest, called yendu, serve as a personal link to the deity. Bawoong represent more recent forebears (parents or grandparents) and are placed on the household altar. Finally, sakwa, like this sculpture, allude to the founding member of the clan. A tchitcheri sakwa is stuck in the ground outside, where the oldest man in the family offers it libations before sowings and harvests. Over generations such figures wear away.

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