Tchamba, Waschamba), Nigeria & Cameroon
couple. The Chamba, whose number today is estimated at 10,000 to 20,000 settled to
the south of the Benue River, in the frontier region between Nigeria and Cameroon. They
formed small, centralized states. The chief possessed divine rights and had the power of
life and death over his subjects. Each clan kept the skulls of ancestors, who were
responsible for the prosperity and fertility of the lineage. Very little is known about
the significance and function of the sculptures of the Chamba. A female and male figure,
joined together above the low-set knees, share a single pair of legs.
According to one source these figures may have denoted ancestors or other spiritual powers
and in the past may have been used to combat illness and to deter misfortunes.
H. 35½, W. 10½, D. 8½