This intriguing female figure (early to mid 20th century is called 'mabinda'. It has moving parts , a detachable head, and it would have had arms attached to the metal studs to the side. It has a very nice patina of age and a beautiful curved belly. These were used in very theatrical, competitive and often provocative dance performances up until the 1970s.
The statue was used by the Sukuma people of Tanzania who had and still have regular dance competitions. Figures like this were used to satirize character types, create stories or simulate sexual relations, Dancers moved the figures in sexually provocative ways to excite a growing crowd and entice them to stay on their side in the dance competition. The competition is extremely exciting, powerful medicines and objects were involved. The competition was like a war, almost taking on the seriousness of an actual battle.
(From Sukuma Figures, boundaries and the arousal of spectacle by Aimme Bessire)
This comes with a nice wooden stand.
Height 43cms / 19 inches