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Togo Puppet Fetish

  • Togo Puppet Fetish
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Item 112
3.00 LBS
Calculated at checkout
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)

Product Description

This special section features items that we are particularly proud of. They are all museum grade quality and will be of interest to the most discriminating of buyers.

This movable fetish from the country of Togo is a rare, unique piece with many attributes that demand it to be so. First of all, these objects are not produced for tourist or readily offered on the open market. They are limited in production and unique in every case. In general, works that feature movable parts such as arms, legs and or jaws are highly sought after by persons proficient in the knowledge of African art. Tribaly, such items are large in size and paraded through huge celebratory events for increased dramatic effect. In special cases as with this, the object is smaller and utilized only during important private village affairs. In this rare case, the item with the capacity to move is a fetish. The Togo selection has legs held in joint by pegs though bound have the capacity to move. Typically, the fetish represents a valued, carefully constructed supernatural object that is held in high regard by its owner. It was created by the village spiritualist who calls upon the help of ancestors to enable the fetish to perform a specified problem solving duty. This task can involve any one of a myriad of tribulations whether on a personal level or involving a serious village matter. The spiritualist actively attaches and applies magical liquids and various organic matter to further empower the fetish. It is then actively doused with libations and is the recipient of prayers and much special attention. This selection shows evidence of such treatment. The Togo fetish displays multiple blotches of a smooth black substance, areas of glossy liquid and clumps of a curious fuzzy organic matter under the head cage area. It is not clear if this marvelous fetish had an important function that involved the entire tribe or was used to deal with a personal problem that belonged to one villager. What is clear is that this is a powerful selection utilized to bind and to fully incapacitate an entity mentally and physically. This is evidenced by the apparent heavy restrictive twining around the limbs, torso, neck and back. Most engaging is the wicker like helmet caging placed around the head. One train of thought is that the person in question was deemed insane or tragically deformed. In all likelihood he was perceived to be very evil in spirit and had to be restrained for the protection of others. The hope was that his spirit could be cleansed or freed and the individual in crisis healed by positive religio-magical intervention. The features of the fetish are unusually natural with the exceptions of the hidden head which has no resemblance to anything human. The mottled skin complexion is from various powders though a rich brown patina peaks though from a few places. This fascinating piece also features a tattered encrusted fiber loin cloth.

Please click photo for enlargement!

Dimensions: 11 inches tall x 4 inches deep x 4 1/2 inches wide. 

Age: Early to mid 20th century

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