Tutsi Armlet

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HCK 0816-3

Tutsi Archer Armlet, Rwanda/Burundi

This wood archer Armlet (igitembe) help the archer to accurate his shot with bow and arrow and to protect their wrists and arms from the bowstring after it is released.

This elegant, abstract object reflects the astonishing ability of African sculptors to make an extraordinary form to fit a simple function and was worn by Tutsi of Rwanda, chiefs and warriors.
Copper squares decorate these examples whereas those shown worn by chiefs during the nineteenth century were embellished with complex designs of copper inlay. Besides it’s function of preventing the warrior from having injuries more importantly it served as an identification of the Tutsi elite.

These items are rarely seen in collections and would stand out as a sophisticated and  unique sculpture.

Age: Est. mid. 20th Century

Provinience: Belgian private collection

Litteratur: Phillips, Tom: Afrika. Die Kunst eines Kontinents. München (1996), Prestel Verlag. Pag. 157.

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