TOMA FETISH 18, Guinea

This Toma fetish has been vetted as being authentic with signs of use and age.



Photographs © Hamill Gallery

TOMA
Fetish Object 18
8" high
$200

A fetish is a statue or object with magical power, like an amulet, talisman or good luck charm. In traditional, tribal Africa, especially in Zaire, these beliefs are manifested in some of the most expressive and magical power figures ever created. This exhibit brings together the relics of many peoples, all used for specific functions, usually to conjure away evil spirits or attempt to control one's destiny.

Common to many tribes was the belief that the fetishes acquired power through the ritualistic carving and consecration, the addition of special substances and the recurring activation of its spirit by offering sacrifices and magic words. Some fetishes have the heads or stomachs hollowed out to hold special substances; some have mirrors to reflect back evil or to blind hostile spirits; some are Janus-figures for better vigilance and protection. Among the materials added to the wood figures are horns, shells, nails, feathers, mirrors, metal, twine, paint, cloth, raffia, fur, beads and herbs; anything thought to add power or magic.

If you are looking for a particular tribe or object please check our Indexes by Tribe, by Object or by Material.

RETURN TO TO TOMA FETISHES PAGE

GO TO FETISH! EXHIBITION PAGE

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GO TO FETISHES (VARIOUS TRIBES) PAGE

GO TO TOMA SCULPTURE PAGE

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GO TO AFRICAN FIGURES PAGE

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